This simple vegetarian pasta makes use of abundant zucchini with a whole kilo put to use in this recipe. It hails from the Italian village of Nerano on the Sorrento Penninsula.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (60 votes)


  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 kg zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, skin on, bashed with the back of a knife
  • salt flakes and ground black pepper
  • 400 g dried spaghetti
  • 175 g provolone, cut into cubes
  • 40 g grated parmesan
  • basil leaves, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and garlic and fry for 5 – 6 minutes or until nicely coloured. Season with salt and set aside. Discard the garlic.
  2.  Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the spaghetti and stir well to separate the strands. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (generally 1 minute less than the cooking time recommended on the packet).
  3.  When the pasta is ready, place the zucchini in the pan over medium heat. Using a spaghetti spoon, transfer the spaghetti straight into the zucchini pan, dragging a little of the cooking water with it, then toss well.
  4.  Turn off the heat and add the provolone. Stir vigorously to allow the residual heat from the pan to melt the cheese and create a luscious sauce. Add the parmesan and keep stirring until all the cheese has melted and the zucchini has broken down in the pan, creating a beautiful creaminess. Divide among bowls, drizzle with extra olive oil and serve straight away, scattered with a good grind of pepper and a few basil leaves.


Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new third season of Cook like an Italian.