Diva Tasting: Spaghetti alla Nerano…

Spaghetti alla Nerano

Serves 4

Ingredients

7 Medium Zucchini, Sliced Into Quarter-Inch Rounds

Sunflower Oil, For Frying

14 Oz. Spaghetti

1 Clove Garlic, Minced (Optional)

2 To 4 Oz. Grated Cheese (Such As Aged Parmigiano Reggiano, Provolone Del Monaco, Or Caciocavallo)

1 Bunch Fresh Basil Leaves

A Pat Of Butter (Optional)

Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

Directions

1. Take thinly sliced zucchini rounds and deep-fry in sunflower oil until golden (or even slightly burnt).

2. Put fried zucchini on a paper towel to absorb oil; let sit in a bowl for a few hours to rest (or put in the fridge overnight). Before using, dab them again with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

3. Boil spaghetti in lightly salted water until al dente. Save a cup of cooking water after draining spaghetti.

4. Reheat zucchini in a frying pan with optional minced garlic.

5. Place half of the zucchini into a clean pot or bowl, then add a few Tbsp. of cheese and a few Tbsp. of the pasta cooking water. Stir the mixture until cheese begins to melt. Add spaghetti, the rest of the zucchini, and cheese, and continue stirring until cheese and spaghetti water form a saucy emulsion. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit more cooking broth. If it is too thin, add more cheese.

6. Add fresh basil, butter, and black pepper, to taste.

7. Serve with sprig of basil on top—with basil flower, if you have it—in a shallow bowl.

Serve with Garlic Crostini, Mediterranean Salad with lemon vinaigrette and ice tea.

Zucchini Spaghetti

Zucchini—a familiar, easy-to-grow, and virtually tasteless green summer squash—has never been a gastronomic superstar. It is usually a fried side dish or an ensemble player in other vegetable creations. I saw my first mistake right away: I had been pan-frying thin slices of zucchini when it is supposed to be deep-fried.

This dish exemplifies Italian cooking traditions in Italy and elsewhere: take the simple riches of what grows nearby and make it as tasty as you can without a lot of fussiness. Its proper preparation demands greater attention to freshness and kitchen know how, than to fancy ingredients.

There is no secret” to spaghetti alla Nerano, a manager at Lo Scoglio Speed is essential, to keep the dish piping hot when it lands on the table.

Not my recipe; d/k refence, but it is good.

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