20-Minute Tagliatelle With Fried Zucchini and Aged Ricotta

Tagliatelle with fried zucchini and ricotta salata
Danette St. Onge
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
294 Calories
28g Fat
10g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 294
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 220mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a traditional and popular pasta recipe from Sicily. It's easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes from start to finish, and it's incredibly satisfying. It's also proof that zucchini doesn't need to be coated in tons of batter in order to be fried to delicious perfection.


  • 1 large round zucchini, or 1 large long zucchini

  • Fine sea salt, for sprinkling

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 pound fresh tagliatelle

  • 10 to 12 small fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped, for serving, optional

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • Grated ricotta salata cheese, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash and dry the zucchini and slice it into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

  2. Spread the zucchini rounds out on a baking sheet or large cutting board and sprinkle lightly with salt.

  3. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the salt pull out some excess water from the zucchini.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

  5. Pat the excess water from the zucchini rounds with a paper towel.

  6. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering.

  7. Fry the zucchini pieces, a few at a time so as to not crowd them, until well browned on both sides.

  8. Transfer the fried zucchini to a large paper-towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil and set aside. 

  9. When the pasta water reaches a rolling boil, add the tagliatelle and cook until just al dente. Remember that fresh pasta does not take as long to cook as dried pasta, generally only 1 to 4 minutes.

  10. Drain the pasta well and divide it between 4 serving plates.

  11. Top each serving with some fried zucchini, a sprinkling of chopped fresh mint, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly grated ricotta salata.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a light sprinkle of lemon zest on top when serving.
  • For extra flavor, sauté 1 sliced garlic clove in the olive oil until lightly golden before adding the zucchini.
  • Add lightly sautéed, halved cherry tomatoes, and/or pancetta to the pasta together with the fried zucchini.
  • Substitute the fresh tagliatelle with dried spaghetti, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  • Use yellow summer squash instead of zucchini.
  • Substitute the mint with fresh basil leaves.


  • Ricotta salata is an aged ricotta cheese: a harder, salty cheese that is suitable for grating. If you can't find it, substitute Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, provolone piccante, or mizithra cheese.
  • Wooden chopsticks can be handy for turning and arranging the zucchini as it's frying.

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