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Photograph: Time Out/Robin Gill
Photograph: Time Out/Robin Gill

Three-Ingredient Recipe: Robin Gill’s Pasta Nerano

A simple carby feast that reminds the chef of living in Naples

Kate Lloyd

Welcome to our cookery series Three-Ingredient Recipe, where London chefs share the tastiest, simplest dishes they know. Today, Robin Gill from The Dairy is taking charge with a pasta dish that reminds him of romantic nights with his wife. 

Pasta Nerano 

Pasta Nerano, or “Honeymoon Pasta” as my wife Sarah likes to call it, originates from an amazing restaurant called Maria Grazia which sits on a stunning rocky beach called Marina del Cantone on the gulf of Napoli. I worked near there a good few years back and lived in a little apartment in Nerano. That’s where my wife Sarah and I fell in love and we return there every other year. Sarah and I got married in Tuscany and we actually took a gang of our closest pals on our first leg of honeymoon to Napoli, hence why we call it Honeymoon Pasta. This recipe serves four to six people.’

What you need (the essentials)

400g spaghetti.
800g romane courgette, sliced into thin rounds.
200g provolone cheese, grated.

What you need (the extras)

Two or three garlic cloves.
A few basil leaves.

What you need to do

1. Fry the courgette slices in olive oil until they are lightly browned. Proceed in batches if your skillet isn’t large enough to hold all the slices in a single layer. As they are done, lay the fried courgette slices on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Season lightly with salt. 

2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt well, and throw in the spaghetti. Cook until very al dente. It should take about eight minutes.

3. While the spaghetti is cooking, in a large sauté pan, sauté the garlic lightly in olive oil. 

4. When the pasta is done, drain it, but not too well. Add the courgette rounds and then the pasta to the sauté pan and a ladleful of pasta water. (If you want, reserve some of the courgettes for garnish.) 

5. Mix everything together vigorously for a minute or two. Then add the grated cheese and some basil leaves, and continue mixing until the cheese has completed melted into a creamy sauce, adding more pasta water if need be to keep things flowing smoothly.

6. Serve your spaghetti right away, topped with the remaining courgette slices for garnish, along with a basil leaf or two.

Read all our Three-Ingredient Recipes

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