Spaghetti alla Nerano is a traditional Italian pasta dish made with fried zucchini, cheese and fresh basil. So creamy, savoury and easy to make that this recipe will become one of your favourites!
This dish was served for the first time in the ’50s in the small bay town of Nerano, in the Sorrentine Peninsula. When I visited the Amalfi Coast I had this dish at a beautiful restaurant.
It’s delicate, it’s simple, it’s elegant, let’s face it — it’s exquisite. Simple flavours dance sexily on your palette. It will never taste like the dish I had in the Amalfi Coast, but it sure does bring back lots of wonderful memories.
This is my favourite pasta dish. If you give this recipe a try I’m sure you might just like it as much as I do!
Spaghetti alla Nerano
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced Willow Tree Market
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated Galati Cheese Company Ltd.
1 garlic clove minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (as needed)
In a deep frying pan heat a good amount of olive oil over medium heat and fry the zucchini until they’re brown, a few slices at time. Place zucchini on a paper towel-lined plate to drain oil.
Once the zucchini are done, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few hand-torn basil leaves.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and cook the spaghetti until very al dente according to the package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir the garlic until fragrant.
Add zucchini to the pan, reserving some for garnish. Pour a ladleful of the cooking water and stir on the zucchini, mix and cook over medium heat for one minute to rehydrate the zucchini.
Add pasta and the cheese, add another ladleful of cooking water, more hand-torn basil and turn off the heat.
Mix thoroughly for one more minute or until the cheese has melted and turned into a creamy sauce that perfectly coats the pasta.
Place spaghetti on a serving plate. Top with the remaining zucchini, pepper and more grated parmigiano reggiano.
If you try my favourite pasta dish let me know!
Photos by Rosa Basile-Marrello