Courgette spaghetti with Grana Padano and basil pesto

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Courgette spaghetti with Grana Padano and basil pesto


. Difficulty: Easy . Serves: 4 people . Preparation time: 25 minutes . Variety: Pasta
I admit this recipe could look childish but, in all honesty, what’s wrong with that?!
I find it fun once in a while to be childish around the table and I think that it’s also a great way to involve the kids more.
I got to be honest, my toddler daughter wasn’t fooled long by these courgetti, she spotted it wasn’t pasta after the first bite, but at least she tried it, and that is already a win.
On the plus side, the aromatic summer pesto with Grana Padano is delicious not only with courgettes but with any vegetables you like, a great dressing alternative for adults to keep ready to use in the fridge.
Chef’s tips: if a specific herb is not available you can swap it for something else, be creative. If you make more pesto than needed, keep it in a clean jar in the fridge for up to 7 days, or freeze it in small portions to enjoy also in winter. Make sure to use firm green courgettes otherwise they could be too watery for this recipe.


4 firm green courgettes
200 g of cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh herbs to garnish
Almond to garnish
Lemon zest to garnish
Extra grated Grana Padano 

For the pesto
25 g of basil
15 g of parsley
10 g of mint
30 g of grated Grana Padano
80 ml of extra virgin olive oil
15 g of almonds
½ garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the pesto ahead. Wash and dry the herbs and blitz everything in a processor until you have a grainy paste. Keep aside.

Wash and dry the courgette and cut them into spaghetti using a vegetable spiralizer (or go for the already cut version if your supermarket has it).
Fry the garlic in olive oil and add the courgettes. Stir and toss on high heat for about 2 minutes and remember not to season the courgettes with salt or they could get too watery. Remove the garlic and take the pan from the heat. Dress the courgettes with the pesto and mix well to coat them, season to taste only at this point.

Plate the courgettes, top with the cherry tomatoes and grated Grana Padano and garnish with fresh herbs, lemon zest and toasted chopped almonds.
Serve warm.
Danilo Cortellini