Pasta with Tenerumi
Pasta con Tenerumi - Pasta chi Tinnirumi
The tenerumi are the tip, buds, vine tendrils and the end leaves of the
long light green plant called Sicilian summer squash or zucchina and cucuzza in Sicilian
The small top leaves and buds of the zucchina – called courgette in England- have a very delicate taste, a
nice texture and it is a Sicilian dish traditionally prepared in the summer, when the tinnirumi are
In July and August the tinnirumi, also called
tenerumi are offered in farmers markets, in areas where American-Sicilians live.
This dish is easy to prepare and requires few
Buy fresh tinnirumi and if you store them for a few
hours, keep them in the refrigerator, wrapped in a wet kitchen rag.
Serves 4 to 6
2 bunches tinnirumi, about 1
12 oz. spaghetti broken in small pieces
less than 1 inch
4 ripe fresh tomatoes or ¾ cup imported
2 garlic cloves,
3 tablespoons of olive
6 oz. of diced caciocavallo cheese, or
your preferred cheese
Salt and pepper
Discard any discolored or damaged leaves and most of
the curly tendrils; cut the tinnirumi into 1 inch strips, utilizing the leaves, the buds and the tender part of
the stems; rinse the tinnirumi 2 or 3 times, until all sand is
washed away. Set on the side.
Wash the tomatoes. Split lengthwise, quarter and
remove seeds and some skin. Chop into bits and set on the side.
In a small pot place the 3 tablespoons of oil and the
garlic and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until garlic cloves are golden; add the fresh tomato bits to
the garlic, a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, over high heat, set a 6 quart sauce pot
with 3 quarts of water. When water begins to boil, place the tinnirumi in it, add salt to taste and simmer for
15 minutes or until the tinnirumi are tender.
Keep a pot of boiling water on the side; it may be
needed in this preparation.
Add the pasta to the tenerumi and cook it following
the package’s direction. After 3 minutes check for the correct consistency, it should be like minestrone: if it
is too dry add some boiling water, if too watery drain some of the liquid.
When pasta is cooked, taste for salt, add some black
pepper; and then stir in the sautéed tomato and the diced cheese.
Serve hot with extra virgin olive oil
on the side.