with Spaghetti alla Nerano
Spaghetti alla Nerano is an Italian dish of delicately fried zucchini tossed with freshly cooked pasta and basil. It has very few ingredients, so its simple flavors really shine. We've paired it with equally simple broiled salmon for an easy but elegant summer dinner.
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Salmon - 1 lb
- Lemons - 1 , sliced
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
- Foil - for roasting
- Zucchini - 1 lb , sliced into 1/4" / 0.6 cm rounds
- Garlic - 1 clove , chopped
- Basil, fresh - 6 leaves , chiffonade
- Pasta, spaghetti - 8 oz
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , shredded (plus more for serving (opt))
Zucchini / Garlic (for salmon and pasta) - (If prepping right before cooking, get water boiling for pasta before continuing with prep.) Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done 5 days ahead)
Salmon - Rinse and pat dry. Season with some salt and pepper.
Lemons / Basil - Prep as directed.
Prepare seasoning mixture - Combine chopped garlic (portion for salmon), olive oil (portion for salmon), and Italian seasoning.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil for spaghetti.
Heat the oven’s broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil. Place salmon skin side down on the baking sheet. Spread seasoning mixture over fish and top with lemon slices.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of cooking liquid, then drain.
While the pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet with first portion of olive oil (portion for pasta) over medium heat.
Add zucchini in a single layer to heated oil (a little bit of overlap is okay, but cook them in batches if they won’t all fit comfortably). Season with a pinch of salt and fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Gently flip the zucchini and continue to cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Transfer the zucchini to a paper towel-lined plate. Use an additional paper towel to gently blot any excess oil from the tops.
Place salmon under the broiler and broil until it flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes depending on thickness.
While the salmon cooks, return skillet to medium heat and add second portion of olive oil (portion for pasta). Add garlic (portion for pasta) to heated oil. Cook until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add spaghetti and zucchini to skillet, along with a splash of the reserved pasta water, and toss everything together to combine.
Remove from heat and add the cheese. Quickly toss the cheese with the hot pasta, continuing to add small splashes of reserved pasta water as needed to form a smooth, slightly creamy sauce.
Add basil to pasta and toss to combine. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
Serve salmon with pasta on the side. Top pasta with additional Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!