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Chef Francesco is from Sardinia, a beautiful island in the South of Italy. He has a background in cooking, having spent 7 years as a Chef in Italy, Australia and London. He is now a Senior Teaching Chef for some of the top cookery schools in London.

For Chef Francesco, being Italian, Italian cuisine is his passion. He has a developed, rustic Italian cooking style based on memories from his childhood – cooking with his Nonna, working on the farm and fishing with his Granddad.

All of Chef Francesco’s recipes are original, traditional and based on the best ingredients.

Italian food is one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. But, you don't need to go out to eat or travel to Italy to eat the real deal anymore. Learn how to make the most authentic, rustic Italian food in your home with this masterclass from Italian chef, Francesco Mattana.

Gnocchi is a type of dough made usually with mashed potatoes, flour and egg but you can also make it with sweet potato; or you can flavour the dough with nutmeg or any dry herbs like oregano.

It can take a little bit of time to make the gnocchi as the potato needs to cook for a long time. But once you have the gnocchi ready to go, it will take less than 20 minutes to cook this recipe.


  • 500g gnocchi di patate

  • 400g fresh plum tomatoes (pomodori San Marzano)
  • A bunch of fresh basil (Italian)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan
  • 1 mozzarella di bufala


  1. Finely slice the onion into half-moons and add to a frying pan on a medium heat with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil straight after.

  2. Crush and add the garlic "in camicia" (with the skin on).
  3. While this is cooking, you can crush the tomatoes with your hand.
  4. Let the onions cook and stir until they're nice and golden.
  5. At this point, add the tomatoes to the frying pan with a touch of salt and pepper and a little extra of olive oil.
  6. Let the tomato sauce simmer on a gentle heat and add a few basil leaves.
  7. Bring a pot of water to the boil. By the time this is going to start boiling, your tomato sauce will be ready with a great simple flavour.
  8. Add a nice amount of salt into your water and cook the gnocchi. It will not take long - when the gnocchi start to float in the water, transfer them straight into the tomato sauce.
  9. When the gnocchi are all in the tomato sauce give it a nice stir.
  10. Move the gnocchi with all the tomato sauce inside a ceramic plate or tray. Add few fresh basil leaves on top and cover all the gnocchi with parmesan and chunks of mozzarella all around.
  11. Cook this in the oven on a grill mode for about 5 to 7 minutes until you see a nice golden brown crust on top of your gnocchi.
  12. Let them rest for about 5 minutes and bring to the table.