Prep 20m Cook 35m Additional 8h Ready In 8h 55m
Servings 2 servings Calories 1016.2

After listening to Stanley Tucci lose his mind about this pasta and calling it life-changing and one of the best things he’s ever eaten, I decided I’d give it a try. The results were amazing and the key to getting the toasted sweet taste of the zucchini was deep-frying it!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 quart sunflower oil, or as needed
  • 6 medium green zucchini
  • 4 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Place sunflower oil in a deep fryer and heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice zucchini into 1/8-inch rounds.
  2. 2 Add some zucchini to the hot oil and deep-fry until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a single layer on paper towels to drain and repeat to cook remaining zucchini. Let zucchini cool to room temperature.
  3. 3 Transfer cooled zucchini to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.
  4. 4 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until it's 2 minutes away from being tender yet firm to the bite, 9 to 10 minutes.
  5. 5 As you are cooking the spaghetti, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to release juices, soften, and break down, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a couple splashes of the pasta water to the zucchini, but don't overdo it. Break zucchini into small pieces with the edge of a spoon or spatula. Reduce heat to low and toss in basil and butter; stir until butter melts.
  6. 6 Grab spaghetti with tongs and transfer it right into the sauce; stir until coated. Mix in Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Add a final splash of pasta water and adjust salt if needed.
  7. 7 Serve with more grated cheese and fresh basil.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 1016.2
  • Carbohydrate 62.5 g
  • Cholesterol 56.5 mg
  • Fat 78.1 g
  • Fiber 8.3 g
  • Protein 23.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 19.6 g
  • Sodium 479.3 mg
  • Sugar 11.9 g

Chef's Notes

Use any zucchini from your garden, different types and sizes are fine; If your deep fryer is small, you can use a Dutch oven instead and fry more at a time; You can add a clove of minced garlic when making the sauce if you want; Use grated Provolone del Monoco cheese if you can find it. I used 1/2 Parmesan cheese and 1/2 Toma cheese; We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.


  1. This was sooo sooo freakin' awesome! We're definitely making it again!
  2. Loved this! I recommend making at least 6 or 8 servings because you will just want more and more. It’s delicious; definitely worth the extra work with frying and the overnight wait. I didn’t get to see if the pasta was better the next day because there were no leftovers. This is a dish to - Read more ...
  3. OMG! This recipe was on point. I only made a little bit because I didn't want to waste food. How I regret not making more. Excellent taste and every bite was so light and filling. I can't wait to make this for my grown kids
  4. I made this exactly following the recipe and it was delicious! No changes, no substitutions, no suggestions, just as it is!
  5. Absolutely fantastic! Took an hour to fry nine zucchini for a dinner for three.....well worth it! Super impressive meal! And so simple! Will totally break my diet to have pasta for this one! So creamy! So rich! ......i did add minced garlic tho
  6. Omg so delicious easy to make
  7. Delicious!! Easy to prep for a quick dinner. Whole family loves it.
  8. Thanks Chef John, you nailed it! I too, watched this episode of "Stanley Tucci's Searching for Italy", and all the others, as well. The important step of refrigerating the fried zucchini overnight it the step Stanley missed, but is important. Thanks for keeping true to the way this is made. I've made this several times, - Read more ...
  9. It is really good and a fine use for zucchini, would not travel or pay for anyone to make for me

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