Fried-Zucchini Spaghetti


This pasta is an ode to the mountains of fried zucchini Gwyneth Paltrow ate at Elio's, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, growing up. Here, she adds the crispy zucchini slices to spaghetti that's tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese (which adds texture to the dish) and plenty of olive oil and basil.

Fried-Zucchini Spaghetti. Photo © John Kernick
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1 pound small zucchini, very thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 pound spaghetti

  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the flour and a pinch of salt. In a very large skillet, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the zucchini and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a paper towel–lined wire rack and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the 1 cup of cheese, the basil and a generous pinch of pepper. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing well to coat. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and top with the crispy zucchini. Serve right away with lemon wedges and additional cheese.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, zippy California Sauvignon Blanc.

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