Bucatini Pasta with Zucchini Fritters Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
15m 20m 4

There is a fantastic chain of Italian restaurants in London called Carluccio’s. If you have spent much time recently in London, you would probably recognize it from the signature blue awnings and the name “Carluccio’s” scripted in white. When I lived in London, I was lucky enough to have a Carluccio’s on my local high street. After my son was born and we were limited to stroller-friendly restaurants, Carluccio’s was the place to go. This recipe was inspired by their Penne Giardiniera, penne pasta with fried spinach balls, which gave me the comfort food fix I needed during that exhausting moment in my life. Here is my take on this dish without the spinach.


For the zucchini fritters:
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated with skin on
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 ½ ounces finely grated Parmigiano cheese
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
For the pasta:
  • 14 ounces dried bucatini or spaghetti
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped


Place the grated zucchini in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and let stand for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, wrap the zucchini in an old tea towel and firmly squeeze to drain any excess water. Transfer the zucchini to a bowl and add the garlic, egg, cheese, flour, pepper, and herbs. Mix until thoroughly combined.

In a large frying pan, add enough vegetable oil to reach about 1-inch up the side. Heat the oil to 375°F degrees or until a cube of fresh bread turns golden in about 30 seconds.

Working in batches, drop the fritter mixture in heaping tablespoon-size balls into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pot or the oil temperature will drop and the fritters will become soggy. Fry the fritters until golden, turning once, and then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined sheet pan to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat in the oil. Remove and discard the garlic clove.

Transfer the pasta to a large platter, and top with the fritters to serve.

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