Gnocchi in Rome: L’Arcangelo (finally)

Deep in the Trader Joe’s freezer section, between the vegetarian gyoza and marinated Mahi, you will find gnocchi alla sorrentina.

When I was 22, the ink still drying on my bachelors degree, I moved to a new city and into a one bedroom apartment. All by myself, for the first time ever.

Frozen gnocchi alla sorrentina became my comfort and my crutch.

I think I gained 20 lbs in the first 5 months.

So, I obviously had a taste for rubbery reheated gnocchi when I moved to Rome, and rubbery reheated gnocchi is exactly what I found.


I looked forward to Thursdays – Gnocchi Giovedi. And the gnocchi I found on Thursdays, advertised on blackboards around the city, was fine. Fine, not great. (Except for the gnocchi at Baffetto Due. That was inedible).

With my gnocchi radar engaged, when I came across L’Arcangelo on Parla Food in 2010, it instantly went on the To Eat list.

An opportunity finally presented itself when planning where to get a low key anniversary dinner. I opened Katie’s app.

“Oops!” I cried, tapping the phone number. “It’s ringing!” 2 people. 8:30. Thursday. Natalina.


Jimmy (the Irishman has given me permission to use his real name) humors me.  He humors me when I “accidentally” make reservations and he humors me when I suggest we walk from Testaccio to Prati.

Finally settled into our seats, celebratory prosecco popped, we passed on the 13 euro (!) supplì and enjoyed the complementary cacio e pepe polenta instead.

Polenta cacio e pepe

Gnocchi di patate all’amatriciana me. Rigatoni all’amatriciana for him.

Poor Jimmy’s dish was a bit dry, but my gnoccho was perfect. The guanciale crisped, the pecorino liberally dusted, the gnocchi both fluffy and toothsome. I inhaled it and then lingered over bollecine and reminisces.


Some day, if I live in the US again, I will probably buy Trader Joe’s frozen gnocchi alla sorrentina once more. I will be harried and harassed and short on time. And even though it’s not very good, I will enjoy it because it will remind me of being 22 and thinking I knew everything.

But for now, in Rome, I will take advantage of L’Arcangelo.

Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, 59,
00193 Roma
+39 06 321 0992




7 thoughts on “Gnocchi in Rome: L’Arcangelo (finally)

  1. katie parla says:

    so thrilled you finally made it there. the “supplizio” combo is indeed expensive, but when arcangelo’s new suppli’ shop opens in the center, i imagine the suppli’ will be more affordable (though not served with crochette and an piece of almond brittle as they are at the restaurant). happy anniversary 🙂

    • Natalie says:

      Thanks again! I would happily go for a standalone suppli’… but the price tag seemed like a push too far.

  2. Jesse says:

    I remember eating there a couple of years ago, and how the pasta was just slightly crunchy, as he is known for. It was amazing, and a really new way of experiencing Italian food. It was a quite Tuesday lunch, the place was really empty except for a Scottish priest and an American diplomat eating quietly in the corner – I noticed they had every course and ample wine.

  3. Pingback: Supplizio: Fried Goodness in Rome’s Centro Storico | An American in Rome

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