Chef Raffaele Ronca was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where he comes from a family of butchers and fishermen. Working in his uncle’s restaurant in Naples and helping his mother make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele developed a lifelong passion for food.
With an old friend from Naples, Romeo Palmisano, Raffaele has opened Ristorante Rafele featuring their beloved Naples’ cuisine. At Rafele, Romeo and Raffaele believe in L’appetito viene mangiando—that’s Italian for “Food that makes you want more!”
- 2 whole baking potatoes
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz. Lioni Bufala Fresca mozzarella, cubed
- fresh basil leaves, chopped
- extra-virgin olive oil
- garlic, sliced
- Boil potatoes with skin. Once cooked, peel and mash. Then, add in the flour and beaten egg yolks.
- Roll the potato mixture to a ½" thickness and cut into 1" long pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.
- In large pot, boil water, and add the gnocchi. When they rise to the surface they are done. Drain and set aside.
- For cherry tomato sauce, cut the cherry tomatoes in half then sauté in a pan with sliced garlic and olive oil.
- In an oven-safe dish, add the drained gnocchi to the tomato sauce to coat. Sprinkle the buffalo mozzarella on top and garnish with basil.
- Bake in the oven at 350° F for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.