Spaghetti alla Nerano is a dish born in one of the most characteristic villages of the Amalfi Coast, Nerano.
As usual, when we talk about recipes linked to a specific territory, we are faced with numerous legends that try to establish their origins. In this case the story takes us back to the early 1950s when the famous spaghetti were prepared for the first time in the “Maria Grazia” restaurant. The recipe, of course, has remained and still remains the most secret, especially due to the choice of the proportions of the cheeses that form the link for the dish.
It seems that the restaurateur of the small bay of Nerano to tie pasta and zucchini tried to add Provolone del Monaco, a spicy spun cheese based on the aging and typical of Agerola, a town of the picturesque Lattari mountains.
The secret of the goodness of this dish lies precisely in its incredible and appetizing creaminess and in the incomparable taste of this particular Provolone.
It is also said that this delightful first course was a favorite of two symbolic figures of Naples and Campania: Totò and Eduardo De Filippo, who would have said themselves madly in love with this typical local dish.
Thinly cut the zucchini in slices, fry them in extra virgin olive oil and dry them on absorbent paper. It’s important to cut them thinly so to make a quick frying and not soak too much of oil.
In the meantime, cook the pasta and prepare a base in the pan by browning a couple of cloves of garlic in six tablespoons of olive oil, being careful not to reach the point of smoke. When browned remove the garlic.
At this point, fry the zucchini slices until they are golden, add a pinch of salt.
Drain the pasta al dente, put the pan back with the zucchini on the low heat, add a knob of butter and the spaghetti, stir in a little while stirring the flame.
Remove from heat, add the provolone del Monaco, the Parmigiano Reggiano and the Pecorino Romano and let them absorb into the pasta. Add a tablespoon of pasta boiling water if it gets too dry.
Serve by adding very little pepper and basil.
The secret of this dish is the wise mix of grated cheeses; Provolone del Monaco, Parmigiano Reggiano and a small portion of Pecorino Romano. You can replace the Provolone del Monaco with a good semi-seasoned Caciocavallo.
Frying zucchini in abundant Extra Virgin Olive Oil, they must be golden and remain soft; it is their frying in olive oil to color the yellow paste.
Final creaming off the heat, adding a knob of butter, the cheese mix, plenty of basil and a little cooking water. In this way the famous “Cremina” (smooth cream) develops and binds spaghetti with zucchini like an embrace.