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HomePastaSpaghetti alla Nerano with Fried Zucchini. – The Pasta Venture

Spaghetti alla Nerano with Fried Zucchini. – The Pasta Venture

A easy Italian zucchini pasta recipe.

Spaghetti alla Nerano was invented within the fifties by a girl referred to as Maria Grazia in a restaurant bearing her title in Nerano a small city on the Sorrento peninsula. Apparently, the restaurant nonetheless exists and is being run by her grandchildren! On my to-visit record!

spaghetti alla Nerano

Spaghetti alla Nerano and Stanley Tucci.

This easy however scrumptious Italian fried zucchini pasta recipe has grow to be very fashionable within the final 12 months due to the American-Italian actor Stanley Tucci. Spaghetti alla Nerano featured within the first season of his common Looking for Italy sequence. Nonetheless, there are some slight variations between the recipe from that sequence and the one most Italians make.

spaghetti alla Nerano

Italians love pasta with greens.

Many Italian pasta recipes are quite simple and straightforward to make, particularly these with greens like this spaghetti alla Nerano. Italians love pasta with greens. I believe there are two causes for this. Firstly, pasta is historically, and infrequently, served as a primary course (Italians say primo). This implies it comes between the antipasti and the primary course (secondo). Consequently, it must be stored gentle.

ingredients for spaghetti alla Nerano on white plate
Step 1 Collect your components

Secondly, Italy has a heat local weather with lengthy scorching summers all through the peninsula, however particularly within the south. Heavy meals are troublesome to digest within the warmth, so Italian eat loads of meatless pasta dishes. After all, there are additionally many pasta recipes which embody meat. Nonetheless, Italians eat these extra within the winter or on particular events or when making ready pasta as a important course.

sliced zucchini and peeled garlic cloves in white bowl and grated provolone in white bowl
Step 2 put together the components.

Contemporary, seasonal and domestically grown.

Vegetable primarily based pasta dishes could also be easy to make and extra digestible, however, that doesn’t imply they aren’t flavourful. Italians have a expertise for creating tasty meals with just a few components.

zucchini slices frying in olive oil in white pan
Step 3a Fry the zucchini slices in olive oil

The greens they use are nearly at all times recent, seasonal and domestically grown. They make good use of herbs, garlic and, every so often, peperoncino (chili pepper). Cheese is almost at all times current in vegetable primarily based recipes. Italians principally don’t use cheese with seafood pasta.

Ready fried zucchini slices in olive oil in white pan
Step 3b Cook dinner the zucchini slices on each side till barely browned.

This recipe for spaghetti with fried zucchini (spaghetti alla Nerano) is a wonderful instance of a easy however beautiful summer time vegetable pasta recipe. It comes from Campania and contains components typical of Neapolitan delicacies.

Step 4 When the zucchini are prepared take away from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

A little bit spaghetti alla Nerano historical past.

Like many pasta recipes, there are numerous tales behind the origins of spaghetti alla Nerano. However, probably the most broadly accepted is that this recipe dates again to the fifties. It was the creation of a younger chef referred to as Maria Grazia in a restaurant bearing her title in Nerano a small city on the Sorrento peninsula. Apparently, the restaurant nonetheless exists and is being run by her grandchildren!

fried zucchini slices in water in white bowl.
Step 5 When prepared to complete the sauce, go away the zucchini slices in water for just a few seconds, then drain.

Completely different variations of Spaghetti alla Nerano.

Though, I’ve learn that the unique recipe for this fried zucchini pasta has been stored a secret by Maria Grazia’s household, there are some Italian websites claiming the unique. The issue is that they aren’t all precisely the identical.

For instance, most Italian recipes name for the zucchini to be fried in olive oil, however some say peanut oil. Within the Stanley Tucci model, the chef used sunflower oil! I used additional virgin olive oil. It’s probably the most conventional oil in Southern Italy and in my view provides flavour to the zucchini.

creamed zucchini, and zucchini slices in white frying pan.
Step 6 Cream about 1/3 of the zucchini with some pasta cooking water. Then add it with the remaining slices to a pan the place you have got sautéed some garlic.

One other distinction is within the cheese. An Italian article I got here throughout about this recipe mentioned that initially 3 cheeses had been used; caciocavallo, pecorino and caciotta. These days, most Italian recipes embody provolone del Monaco or caciocavallo and perhaps some pecorino.

Within the recipe from ‘Looking for Italy’ the cheese is Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. None of those Italian cheeses are vegetarian, though vegetarian provolone exists and, after all, you should use vegetarian parmesan.

Step 7 Cook dinner the pasta al dente, drain it and add it to the zucchini sauce.

The cheese I used.

I used the above talked about Provolone del Monaco. This can be a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from the Monti Lattari space close to Naples. It may be fairly spicy relying on the maturation.  Though provolone del Monaco isn’t accessible in all places, there are different spicy provolone cheeses accessible in Northern Italy and even in America which you should use as a substitute.

Ready spaghetti alla Nerano still in pan.
Step 8 Combine the sauce and the pasta collectively over a low warmth. Then take away from the warmth and add the cheese and a few basil.

The key to a terrific spaghetti alla Nerano.

For my part, the key to this dish is that the fried zucchini slices should be immersed in boiling water. That is in order that they reabsorb a number of the liquid they misplaced in the course of the frying. Then a number of the zucchini slices are creamed with some pasta cooking water.

You solely have to cream 1/3 of the zucchini slices. The remainder are left complete. Not all Italian recipes for spaghetti alla Nerano name for these steps, nor does the Stanley Tucci model. However, I believe it makes this dish creamier and richer.

As I mentioned earlier than, it is a quite simple however tasty vegetable pasta recipe notably good in summer time when basil and zucchini are in season. I’m certain that upon getting tried it you’ll come again to it repeatedly, as I do.

In case you do do this spaghetti alla Nerano recipe, I’d love to listen to what you suppose. Please write a remark right here on the weblog or publish a touch upon the Pasta Venture Fb web page.

Your suggestions means rather a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

Another scrumptious pasta recipes with zucchini

  1. Pasta with zucchini flowers, saffron and ham
  2. Farfalle pasta with smoked salmon and zucchini
  3. Orecchiette with zucchini and speck
  4. Pasta with saffron and zucchini

N.B. This recipe was initially printed in 2017 however has been up to date.

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spaghetti alla nerano

Spaghetti with Fried Zucchini (spaghetti alla Nerano)


Spaghetti alla Nerano made well-known by Stanley Tucci in his Looking for Italy sequence is a wonderful instance of a easy however beautiful vegetable pasta recipe from Southern Italy. It contains components typical of Neapolitan delicacies and could be very straightforward to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook dinner Time 20 minutes

Whole Time 35 minutes

Course Predominant Course

Delicacies Campania, Mediterranean, Neapolitan, Southern Italian

Servings 4

Energy 559 kcal


  • 400 g spaghetti (14oz)
  • 700 g zucchini (24oz)
  • olive oil additional virgin
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 100 g grated Provolone cheese (3.5oz) ideally Provolone del Monaco or caciocavallo (see notes)
  • 1 handful recent basil leaves. washed and torn into items
  • salt for pasta and to style
  • pepper to style


  • Wash and lower the zucchini into skinny slices, then fry them in additional virgin olive oil till browned.

  • As soon as fried, put the slices on paper towels to take away the surplus oil.

  • In the meantime boil the pasta in loads of frivolously salted water till al dente and drain, protecting apart a cup of the cooking water.

  • Warmth some extra olive oil in a frying pan with the two garlic cloves and cook dinner taking care to not burn the garlic. 

  • Immerse the zucchini slices in boiling water for 4 or 5 seconds, then cream 1/3 of them both by mashing by way of a sieve or briefly liquidizing in a meals blender with a number of the pasta cooking water.

  • Take away the garlic and add the cream of zucchini and the zucchini slices to the pan after which stir within the cooked spaghetti. If the dish seems too dry add a number of the saved pasta cooking water. Proceed to stir over a low warmth for a minute.

  • Take away the pan from the warmth, stir within the grated provolone till it begins to soften and grow to be creamy. Season with a sprinkling of pepper and salt as required, Serve adorned with the basil leaves lower into items and a few additional grated provolone to style.


Spaghetti is the normal pasta for this recipe however different lengthy pasta similar to linguine work nicely too.
Though the unique recipe I adopted requires Provolone del Monaco, this cheese isn’t accessible in all places, Nonetheless there are different spicy provolone cheeses produced in Northern Italy and even in America which can be utilized as a substitute. You can even use caciocavallo or parmigiano. Vegetarians ought to use a vegetarian parmesan or provolone.

Like many Italian pasta recipes there are barely totally different variations of alla Nerano. Not all embody creaming a part of the fried zucchini and a few add butter to the dish earlier than serving.

Key phrase alla Nerano, zucchini pasta

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spaghetti alla nerano with fried zucchini

If you’re eager about studying the way to make do-it-yourself pasta and various kinds of gnocchi, try my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my pals in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus whilst you’re there why not order a duplicate of one among my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some conventional pasta making instruments? All nice prezzies for pasta lovers!



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