Spaghetti Alla Nerano Recipe

Spaghetti Alla Nerano Recipe
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
January 12, 2024

Danielle Alvarez's Spaghetti Alla Nerano

In this week's recipe we are back with one of our favorite series, We Cook Books.

Discover the charm of the Amalfi Coast with Spaghetti Alla Nerano, a highlight from Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking, a cookbook that truly captures the essence of Italian culinary art.

In this exquisite recipe, every element of the dish is celebrated, with a focus on the fresh, vibrant flavors of Italy.

This isn't just another pasta recipe; it's a testament to the cookbook's philosophy of cherishing each ingredient and transforming simple elements into a symphony of flavors. Ideal for a family gathering or a special dinner, Spaghetti Alla Nerano promises to turn a classic pasta dish into a culinary celebration, whisking you away to the scenic vistas of Nerano with every bite.

10 minutes
25 minutes


6 small zucchinis (courgettes), about 400-500 g (14 oz)
125 g (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
400 g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
3 garlic cloves, minced
50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter, cubed
50 g (½ cup) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
60 g (2 cups) basil leaves (about 1 bunch), loosely packed, plus extra to garnish
Fine sea salt

To Finish

Parmigiano Reggiano, for grating
Freshly cracked black pepper
Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Special Equipment

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  1. Slice the zucchini into very thin rounds using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife).
  2. Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and when it's hot, add in a third of the zucchini slices. Fry until they are lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Use a skimmer or spoon to scoop them out onto a plate. Fry the remaining zucchini in another two batches and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in your spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  4. Pour out half the olive oil used to fry the zucchini and save it for another use. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the garlic, letting it sizzle until it becomes fragrant. Add in the fried zucchini and scoop a ladleful of the pasta water into the pan. Stir and crush the zucchini so that some pieces break down and some remain intact.
  5. Reserve a mug of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the pasta to the zucchini pan and stir in half of the reserved water. Turn the heat to high. When the liquid is almost completely reduced, turn the heat down to low and add in the butter, parmesan and basil. Toss vigorously, using a wooden spoon or tongs, to combine and create a creamy sauce. Add more of the pasta water as needed. Taste the pasta for seasoning and adjust with salt.
  6. Divide the pasta between four bowls and top with more grated parmesan, the extra basil leaves, pepper and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil. Serve with wedges of lemon.

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