Bottom-Friendly Spaghetti Alla Nerano


Ingredients:

  • ~ 6 medium zucchini, sliced thinly into 1/4 inch rounds OR using a mandoline, use the thinnest setting

  • Cooking spray oil

  • 1 lb dry spaghetti noodles

  • 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed

  • 2-4 oz vegan parmesan (store-bought or see below for recipe and instructions)

  • Basil leaves

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the vegan parmesan:

  • 3/4 C cashews

  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


Instructions:

  1. Place the zucchini in an air fryer, coat with cooking spray, and air fry at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, shaking the frying basket every 5 minutes, until the zucchini is golden brown and lightly burnt around the edges. (NOTE: Depending on your air fryer, you may want to do this step in batches or fry longer than 20 minutes).

  2. Place the fried zucchini slices on a paper towel to drain; let sit for a few hours to rest or better yet, make the zucchini the night ahead.

  3. Boil spaghetti in heavily salted water and cook according to the package's instructions for al dente. Save a cup of cooking water before draining the spaghetti.

  4. To a frying pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil, and once hot, fry the garlic clove. Once the garlic clove is brown and very fragrant, remove the clove. Reheat the zucchini in the infused oil.

  5. If you're making vegan parmesan, place the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder into a blender and blend until the mixture resembles grated parmesan.

  6. Place half the zucchini into a large mixing bowl and add a few tbsp of the vegan parm and a few tbsp of the pasta water. Stir until the vegan parm is no longer lumpy. Add the spaghetti noodles, the rest of the zucchini, and more vegan parm and toss together until a saucy emulsion forms.

  7. Use your best judgment here! If the pasta seems thick, add more pasta water. If the pasta seems too thin, add more vegan parm.

  8. Add the butter, basil, and as much black pepper as your heart desires (I like A LOT).

  9. Serve with more fresh basil on top and bottoms up!