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

Courgette, brown butter and basil gnocchi

Published: August 17, 2021 at 10:32 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 2

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

  • Vegetarian
low inkcal377

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


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

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