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  • Writer's pictureDavid

Bucatini alla Nerano - Courgette Pasta

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Another great way of using up those courgettes. This is Stanley Tucci's favourite pasta dish - I'm not sure how that'd relevant, but I thought I'd mention it.

I said it in the stuffed courgette flowers recipe - If you or someone you know grow your own courgettes, one thing you won't be short of is courgettes! They grow a storm. This is usually a recipe for spaghetti, but...

  1. I love bucatini

  2. I had bucatini!

This tastes great - but it levitates to absolutely fantastic when you fry the courgettes the day before



courgettes - more than you think you'll need I used two (well, one courgette and half a giant one)



2 tbsp butter

175g (roughly)Provolone cheese - but you can substitute that with Manchego, or an aged Gouda - something with a bit of bite to it

50g Parmesan

bucatini - or whatever takes your fancy


Watch the video


  • The day before - slice/mandoline the courgettes into the thickness of a really thick coin. Or two coins. Or a casino chip

  • Heat vegetable or sunflower oil in a pan - enough to cover the slices. I've tried roasting, shallow frying or just doing them on the day; I tells ya, deep frying the day before has a profound effect on the tased and texture

  • Pop the slices in the oil in batches - too many and the temperature will drop.

  • Fry them for about 1 minute, then transfer to paper or a cloth to drain

  • Put them in a bowl or pot or tupperware, cover them and put them in the fridge till tomorrow...


  • Pop a bit of olive oil in a pan

  • Add the garlic, and shove it around a bit until there's a little bit of colour in it - don't let it burn; it'll make the oil quite bitter. Taste-wise. Although possibly emotionally too; I'd be bitter if someone burned garlic on me.

  • Remove the garlic and add the courgettes

  • Salt them

  • Stir them around and cook them down for 5 minutes or so

  • Add the butter

  • Stir it around and continue cooking till you have a semi purée


  • Boil some water in a pot and add the pasta

  • We've had this conversation many times - turn the het down, you don't need 100ºC boiling water to cook pasta. 80º-90º will do nicely. Save energy, cut costs and it's nicer to the pasta

  • When the courgettes are gloopy (technical term - honest...) tear the basil leaves into the pan and stir them through

  • Whatever time your pasta needs to cook, add it to the courgettes with about 2 minutes to go

  • Don't drain the pasta, just lift it out with a basket or tongs

  • Mix it through gently, and add a couple of ladles of the pasta water

  • Add the grated Provolone and mix it through - it will get quite creamy

  • Remove from the heat and add the grated Parmesan - or Pecorino if you prefer

  • Mix it through and serve it up

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