Spaghetti alla Nerano with Pancetta
Serves 2 (can be doubled!)
- Large pot
- Large skillet
- Olive oil for frying
- 3 small green zucchini thinly sliced
- 1 yellow zucchini thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 oz pancetta diced
- ½ lb spaghetti
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano plus more for serving
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves torn, plus more for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- While water comes to a boil, heat about a 1/2 inch of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add in both zucchinis and fry until golden. You can do this is two batches if your pan isn’t quite large enough for all the zucchini.
- Remove zucchini and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Season with salt. Set aside.
- Remove frying oil from pan. (can be discarded)
- Add in pancetta and cook over medium heat until rendered and crispy.
- While pancetta cooks, heavily season boiling water with salt. Drop in pasta and cook until just under al dente.
- Once pasta is dropped, and is cooking, add garlic to the pan with the pancetta. Cook until slightly golden. Add in ladles of pasta water to start creating a little sauce.
- Drain pasta (saving water) and add to the skillet. Toss and add in pecorino.
- Stir constantly to create an emulsified sauce. Add in ladles of pasta water as need to create a cohesive sauce.
- Add in butter and season with salt and pepper. Stir in reserved zucchini and fresh basil.
- Serve topped with more pepper, pecorino and fresh basil.
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