Pasta alla Nerano
This pasta dish is an example of how little Italian towns and villages can have their own specialties, just like cities—where dishes speak not only to the traits of an area, but also to a very specific time and place. While the beaches are one thing that bring people to Nerano, a tiny fishing village built into the mountains on the Amalfi Coast, so does this pasta with fried zucchini. All the locals know the story: The legendary dish was invented in 1952 by Maria Grazia, who owned a restaurant in Nerano that bears her name (and where two of her grandchildren, Lello and Andrea, still work to this day). So many have tried to recreate this seemingly humble dish of pasta and local summer zucchini that it has become known as “Spaghetti alla Nerano” to distinguish it from any other spaghetti with zucchini. –“Emiko”
1lbs bucatini or spaghetti dried
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
3oz provolone de Monaco
1 handful basil
3 large italian zucchini, thinly sliced
Salt | pepper
1. Use a wide pot and cover the spaghetti with cold water. Season with salt and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil – stirring to avoid sticking.
2. Heat olive oil and garlic clove in a sauté pan and in batches, fry the zucchini (300f) until crispy, remove and set aside to cool – season zucchini with salt while still warm.
3. Lower the heat, remove the garlic clove, and add the zucchini back to the pan. Begin mashing the zucchini to your desired consistency.
4. Add the drained pasta and reserved pasta water. A handful of picked basil and the cheese.
5. Stir to emulsify.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.