by Rita Kungel

This year I was given a copy of Stanley Tucci’s book “Taste: My Life Through Food” on my birthday. I brought it to Italy in April as we were to spend two months in Il Bel Paese.  As we drove south through Lazio and Campagna to Sicily and back up to the Garfagnana, I read the book with its witty stories, family history, great dining experiences and recipes.

After returning to Colorado in June, we planted a garden which resulted in many zucchine and tomatoes. Remembering Tucci’s recipe from a seaside restaurant on the Amalfi Coast, we tried it and became addicted. It is so simple, healthy and delicious and can be made with yellow crookneck squash also. (A vegetable which I’ve never seen in Italy.) His recipe does not contain any garlic or onion, but I can’t resist a couple of cloves of garlic. Try it and enjoy.


 Serves 4

Generous amount of sunflower, olive or vegetable oil.

8-10 small zucchini

1 ½ cup chopped fresh basil

Sea salt to taste

1 pound spaghetti

3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Heat oil to low boil and fry thin rounds of zucchine until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with basil and salt, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Boil pasta until al dente and strain, reserving about 2 cups of the water.

Put the cooked pasta into a large pan over low heat with the zucchini mixture and mix gently.  Add pasta water, a little at a time, to create a creamy texture.  You may not use all the pasta water.  Now add some of the Parmigiano to the mixture and continue to combine by stirring gently and tossing.  When the mixture has a slight creaminess, remove from stove and serve immediately.

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