Pasta with Tenerumi (or Taddi) – Sicilian Culture

pasta with tenerumi – taddiPasta with tenerumi is a highly popular dish in Sicily but is almost unknown in the rest of Italy. Let’s start by clarifying what is meant by tenerumi.
This word indicates the leaves of the “Lagenaria longissima”, an extremely pale green zucchini, typical of the place, which can reach up to one and a half meters in height. The tenerumi are only available during the summer so remember that you are about to prepare a dish that will make you feel quite hot…

Ingredients for 4 people
350 gr of chopped Spaghetti (about 2-3 cm)
4 decks of Tenerumi
4 Ripe Tomatoes
2 cloves of Garlic
Ricotta Salata Cheese to taste (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

For the preparation we begin by choosing the healthy leaves of our tenerumi bouquet. Wash them, cut them into strips and scald them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Let’s put them aside… We will use the cooking water to add it gradually over the course of the recipe.
Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and then let them blanch for 1 minute. At this point we are ready to peel and cut them into chunks.
In a pan, sauté the garlic cloves that we have previously deprived of the core, cleaned and finely chopped in extra virgin olive oil. As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the tomatoes, a cup of water and cook for 5 minutes.
At this point we can add the tenerumi and gradually more cooking water considering the fact that from this moment on, it will take about 35 minutes to finish cooking the dish.
8-10 minutes before the end of cooking, we will chop the spaghetti, pour them into the pan together with the other ingredients and add a little more water to finish cooking. We just have to add salt, pepper and optionally sprinkle with ricotta salata cheese (salted ricotta). Pasta with tenerumi (or pasta with taddi) is a soupy dish and should be served immediately despite the fact that the dish is only cooked during the summer season.

Variants and Curiosities

  • There are those who do not add tomatoes and only make it white (Syracusan version), those who also add courgette, those who instead replace garlic with onion.
  • As for the cheese, in the pasta with tenerumi it is possible to replace the salted ricotta with Sicilian pecorino cheese or caciocavallo cheese.

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