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Spaghetti alla Nicolina (Caramelized Zucchini & Pecorino Romano)

Spaghetti with Caramelized Zucchini & Pecorino Romano

Nicolina Sergiacomo Peduzzi is the matriarch of Rustichella d'Abruzzo. When someone is invited to her family table, she makes her famous Spaghetti alla Nicolina—as we now call the dish. The simplicity and the flavors of the caramelized zucchini and spicy Pecorino Romano cheese make this one of most flavorful pasta dishes you will ever taste.

Recipe courtesy of Nicolina Peduzzi, Rustichella d'Abruzzo
Total Time
45 minutes
Simple Tasty Recipes


  • 1 500 gr bag Rustichella d'Abruzzo Spaghetti or PrimoGrano Spaghettoni
  • 8-10 medium size zucchini, sliced in different thicknesses
  • 1 cup Rustichella d'Abruzzo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until it's very hot. Add the sliced zucchini and carefully spread them out evenly into the pan. Once the pan heats up, lower the flame and let the zucchini caramelize well, about 20–25 minutes. Do not touch or stir, just let them brown on one side. They will not be evenly browned. Turn the flame off and let the pan sit while the pasta cooks.
  2. Boil the pasta in abundant salted water, one minute less than stated on the bag for a nice al dente bite. Drain and toss directly into the pan with the zucchini. Toss over a high flame and mix well.
  3. Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl, sprinkle with lots of grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
  4. Because the zucchini have been cooked so slowly, the oil has been infused with the sweet, carmelized flavor of the vegetables. Along with the nuttiness of the cheese, this is incredibly appetizing.