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Do you know what “tenerumi” are? And how do we cook them with pasta? Tenerumi which basically means ‘tender’ are the big leaves of the long green squash, a summer vegetable that is used a lot here in Sicily.

Infact this recipe is similar to the one with squash, and they are both
pasta a minestraDo you remember my previous recipe: pasta with squash?

You are probably thinking: a soup dish with pasta during summer? Isn’t it too hot for that? When I was a kid I literally hate it when my mum would present us with this dish with 35 or 40 degrees.

Well… now I changed my mind of course.

To prepare the dish with such vegetable is always difficult to tell the exact amount of tenerumi you need, because here in Sicily you find them wrapped in bunches and their volume can change according to the greengrocer.

Ingredients & preparation for 4 people:

A bunch of tenerumi if big, two if medium size
350 gr. broken spaghetti (Ital. spaghetti spezzati)
4-5 ts of tomato sauce
80 gr. matured caciocavallo cheese cut in small pieces
salt (or a bio stock-cube if preferred)
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
a small piece of fresh ginger
a small piece of dried red pepper

1. Clean the tenerumi, removing the stems and wash the leaves under running water.

2. Put a pot half full of water on a medium heat.

3. Cut the tenerumi in pieces with a sharp knife and when the water boils add salt (or the stock cube) and drop the tenerumi adding the garlic, the red pepper and the ginger.

4. Let them cook for about 15 minutes.
Now at this point you can choose either to follow the traditional process or instead go with the healthier and faster method, but I can assure you the result is absolutely the same.

In the first case with a slotted or perforated spoon you should take the tenerumi out of the casserole and in another frying pan do the soffritto, putting a drizzle of oil, garlic and then the tenerumi, but what I suggest you do instead is simply: (taking from phase 4 in which everything is cooking together)

5. Drop the spaghetti spezzati inside the casserole and let the pasta cook, then add the table spoons of tomato sauce and stir to mix all together like in the pic on the left.

6. Cook until pasta is perfectly al dente and only when it’s ready put the little pieces of matured caciocavallo cheese (pic on the right) and some more extra virgin oil of olive in the pot.

Mix together again and serve while hot.

You won’t find a simpler, warmer and more familiar dish than this one, especially when the first summer rains start to pour (usually at the end of august here) but also in any other summer day. Enjoy! 🙂


  1. Francesco Costanza ha detto:

    Ciao Georgia, quel tocco di maestro del caciocavallo stagionato a pezzetti mi ha incuriosito tanto e non perchè non lo sapessi ma perchè è roba da veri veterani della cucina siciliana, brava….

  2. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Grazie mille Francesco, allora lo dirò senz'altro a mia madre che me l'ha insegnato. Un saluto

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