A Taste of Summer, Spaghetti alla Nerano

Prep: 30min

Serves: 4

Difficulty: easy

This dish was invented in 1952 by a restaurant called “Maria Grazia” in the beautiful bay of Nerano. The simplicity of this dish is the quintessence of our culinary tradition on the Amalfi Coast. There is only one main ingredient, the courgette and then the rest is done adding lots of parmesan and fresh basil. You will have a dish that tastes like summer!

Mamma Flora’s Tip: when you chose the courgettes, make sure they are firm and not too watery. You can use other hard cheese than parmesan, like provolone for example, the method is always the same as per below.


  • 4 medium sized courgettes
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 500gr spaghetti
  • 200ml peanut oil to fry
  • 100gr parmesan
  • basil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 2 pans
  • 1 pot
  • Kitchen paper


  • Wash the courgettes and cut them in thin slices
  • Pour the frying oil in a pan on high heat and wait for it to reach the right temperature. To understand when ready, insert a small piece of courgette in the oil and if there are bubbles forming around it then you are ready to fry
  • Fry for 3-4 min until the courgettes become slightly brown
  • Prepare a plate with kitchen paper to arrange the courgettes once ready and to absorb the extra oil
  • In a pot boil some water, and when boiling add the pasta and salt it per your taste, cook it 4 min less than the cooking time you find on the bag
  • Grate the parmesan
  • In the meantime in a pan place the garlic, the extra virgin olive oil and gently heat. After 2-3 min add the courgettes you fried earlier and lots of basil, stir it and cook for 5 min at medium heat
  • When the pasta is ready but before draining, reserve one cup of the water you cooked the pasta in. We will need it to make the sauce smoother
  • Place the pan with the courgette on medium heat again, add the not-fully-cooked spaghetti and start stirring. Add the parmesan and ½ of the cup of reserved water. Stir it until a smooth sauce forms
  • Serve with more basil and enjoy a taste of summer!

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