Two bowls of gnocchi on a table garnished with basil and grated cheese

Courgette, brown butter and basil gnocchi

  • serves 2
  • Easy

Inspired by a piccata, this lemon and butter sauce is made even better with the addition of aromatic basil. It works well with pasta as well as gnocchi, and is just as great with ricotta instead of pecorino if you want to keep it vegetarian


Make this seasonal courgette gnocchi recipe, then check out our homemade gnocchimushroom gnocchi, healthy gnocchi and more gnocchi recipes.



  • olive oil 1 tbsp
  • courgette 1, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • gnocchi 250g
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • capers 2 tbsp, drained
  • dried chilli flakes a pinch (optional)
  • lemon ½, juiced
  • salted butter 2 tbsp
  • basil a small bunch, leaves torn
  • salted ricotta or pecorino finely grated, to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the courgette until golden and soft. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes or until they start to float to the surface. Drain, reserving about 150ml of the cooking water.

  • Step 2

    While the gnocchi is cooking, add the garlic, capers and chilli flakes (if using) to the courgettes and sizzle for 1 minute until starting to crisp. Add the lemon juice and stir, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and sizzle for 30 seconds until it smells nutty. Toss in the cooked gnocchi and enough of the reserved cooking water to create a glossy sauce that coats the gnocchi. Stir in most of the basil and leave to wilt for a few seconds, then divide between warmed bowls. Serve topped with the remaining basil and a fine grating of cheese.

Discover more courgette recipes for using up a glut

Courgette risotto with mint, lemon and parmesan

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 377
  • Fat 19g
  • Saturates 9.1g
  • Carbs 43.2g
  • Sugars 1.9g
  • Fibre 3.4g
  • Protein 6.7g
  • Salt 2.8g