For a tiny place, Marina del Cantone has a clutch of very good sea-facing restaurants perched on stilts above the water. Don't neglect trying the local speciality, spaghetti alla Nerano.
Spaghetti alla Nerano
It may be surrounded on three sides by sea, but the Sorrento peninsula's best loved culinary offering is a product of the land, the perfectly balanced, refreshingly simple spaghetti alla Nerano.
Supposedly invented in 1952 by a local cook named Donna Rosa in the Ristorante Maria Grazia in Marina del Cantone (a beach strip attached to the village of Nerano), the dish calls on three key ingredients: lightly fried courgettes, local provolone del Monaco cheese and hard-enough-to-bite-into spaghetti. Add in a little butter and fresh basil and you’ve got a wonderfully subtle taste explosion of creamy vegetables and zesty cheese.
Although the recipe for the dish might sound simple, its execution, rather like its Roman cousin, cacio e pepe, isn’t so easy to pull off. A flawless rendition relies on a mixture of timing, technique, high-quality local ingredients and various ‘secret’ manoeuvres that most chefs prefer to keep to themselves. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to enjoy spaghetti alla Nerano made by an expert, not least in the village where it was invented, overlooking the water with of chilled glass of local wine to heighten the magic.