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Spaghetti alla Nerano
with white beans

Active: 40 Total: 40

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 added creamy white beans for a meal that is both simple and elegant.



Spaghetti alla Nerano:
  • Zucchini - 1 lb , sliced into 1/4" / 0.6 cm rounds
  • Garlic - 1 clove , chopped
  • Basil, fresh - 6 leaves , chiffonade
  • Beans, cannellini (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed (sub any white beans)
  • Pasta, spaghetti - 8 oz
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , shredded (plus more for serving (opt))


  1. Zucchini / Garlic - (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)

  2. Basil - Prep as directed.

  3. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil for spaghetti.

  2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of cooking liquid, then drain.

  3. While the pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet with first portion of olive oil over medium heat.

  4. 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.

  5. Transfer the zucchini to a paper towel-lined plate. Use an additional paper towel to gently blot any excess oil from the tops.

  6. Return skillet to medium heat and add second portion of olive oil. Add garlic to heated oil. Cook until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

  7. Add spaghetti and zucchini to skillet, along with a splash of the reserved pasta water, and toss everything together to combine.

  8. 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.

  9. Add basil and beans to pasta and toss to combine. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.

  10. Divide spaghetti among serving bowls. Top with additional Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!



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