Zucchini Pasta alla Nerano | Cook for Your Life
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Zucchini Pasta alla Nerano

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4 out of 5 stars (based on 21 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 7 ingredients

My husband is not a fan of zucchini but he likes this easy, fragrant dish from the Amalfi coast of Italy. It’s also a great vehicle for either getting over chemo blahs, or an overabundance...


  • 3 to 4 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces paccheri, pappardelle, or penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 12 basil leaves roughly torn
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Nutrition Facts


411 cals


18 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

11 g


49 g


6 g


4 g


14 g


600 mg


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water on to a boil.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wide sauté pan over a medium high flame. Add the zucchini slices and sauté until they shrink and get browned at the edges, about 8 minutes. As they caramelize, remove from the pan to drain on paper towels until the pan is empty. Set the pan aside off the flame.
  3. Move the zucchini to a sieve. Plunge the sieve into the boiling pasta water for 1 minute as if to rinse the zucchini. Set the sieve aside to drain on paper towel. Meanwhile tip the pasta into the boiling water and cook 1 minute less than the shortest time on the packet. The pasta should be just al dente and quite chewy. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water.
  4. Meanwhile add the remaining oil to the zucchini pan over a medium high flame. When hot, add the garlic and cook until it just starts to color, about 1 minute. Add the rinsed zucchini from the sieve and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Add the pecorino, stir to mix then add ¼ cup of the pasta water. Mix well. Cook until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Add more water if the zucchini sauce looks dry.
  5. Stir in the basil leaves, cook 1 minute then add the pasta, plus any remaining water if the sauce looks like it needs it. Cook stirring one minute more. Serve immediately with extra grated pecorino cheese.

Chef Tips

This is one dish I prefer to make with organic white pasta instead of whole-wheat. If you use whole-wheat pasta, use spaghetti or fettuccine.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society