Are you team Endless Summer or team Forever Fall? I’m definitely a fall kind of lady (fine, call me basic) but I also acknowledge I live in Texas where September isn’t exactly the month of turning leaves, chilly mornings, and longing for piping hot PSLs. Fortunately, there are recipes like this one that bridge the gap perfectly.
Gardens here are turning out the last of their harvests for the year. Zucchini and basil are still going strong. Tomatoes might not be at their peak, but they’re still plentiful and tasty. When cooked up in this simple gnocchi recipe, they all shine. The finished product is a dish that brings in fall comfort, while keeping fresh late summer flavors front and center. Plus, you won’t be standing over a hot stove and sweating while its still 100 degrees out.
It comes together in a pinch and can easily be adapted to your family’s tastes. Want to add protein? How about white beans, chicken sausage, or shrimp? Want it spicier? Do it up. Want more sauce? Ramp up the butter, lemon juice, and starchy gnocchi cooking water. Boom. Comforting, nourishing, seasonal food on the table with minimal effort and minimal time. I call that a winner.
Seasonal stunners basil and zucchini combine with tomatoes, lemon, Parmesan, and gnocchi for the perfect bridge between fresh, light summer cuisine and a comforting fall meal.
Late Summer Gnocchi with Zucchini, Tomatoes, & Basil
adapted from Gimme Some Oven
1 (1 lb.) package of uncooked gnocchi
4 TBSP butter, divided
2 large zucchini (about 1.5 lbs.), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 medium lemon
2/3 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
2/3 c. roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra for topping
fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
red pepper flakes, if desired
- Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil for the gnocchi.
- Melt 2 TBSP butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and tomatoes and sauté for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked through and tender.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water.
- Meanwhile, add the garlic to the zucchini and tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Remove sauté pan from heat.
- Once the gnocchi float to the surface of the boiling water, use a strainer to transfer them to the sauté pan with the zucchini mixture. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, Parmesan, basil, and black pepper and toss until evenly combined. If you’d prefer a saucier dish, add in 1/4 cup (or more) of the starchy gnocchi water.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes.
yield: 3 main course servings