What Is Nerano Pasta?

If there’s one type of food that is synonymous with Italian cuisine, it’s pasta. As there are a wide variety of different types of Italian cuisine, there are plenty of versions of pasta available throughout Italy’s numerous regions and restaurants. If you’ve looked at our menu before, you may have noticed a type of pasta that you hadn’t recognized before, and this is Nerano pasta. Just like the types of pasta, you can find in other regions, a few key distinctions set Nerano pasta apart from its counterparts. 

We break down what makes Nerano pasta so unique below!

Region of Origin

Spaghetti alla Nerano is an Italian dish that originated from Nerano, a small town on the Amalfi coast. This legendary dish was invented by Maria Gaza in 1952 at the Maria Gaza restaurant in Noreno. The dish contains many lovely ingredients like zucchini, provolone del Monaco, basil, and some egg yolks. 

The Zucchini Addition

Zucchini is one of the signature ingredients involved in making Nareno pasta. The zucchini used in making this dish is the Italian kind which is small, sweet, and pale green in color. A quick puree is usually made out of the zucchini, after which it is mixed together with the spaghetti and other ingredients. In most cases, Neapolitan pasta requires you to multitask as all the ingredients are prepared together.

The Zucchini addition is one of the highlights of this dish as it’s the signature ingredient. It is focused on adding a healthy element to the pasta by providing properties that help with heart health. Some of these properties include magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, etc. These properties also prevent cancer and other types of diseases. 

Provolone del Monaco

Provolone del Monaco is another main ingredient used to make Nerano pasta. It is a large, semi-aged, five-pound, melon-shaped cheese. Most times, it is difficult to get this ingredient outside Nerano, so you can substitute it with Parmesan or caciocavallo. A mixture of these two kinds of cheese will give it a richer flavor and keep your dish closer to Maria Gaza’s original recipe. As one of the most distinctive ingredients of this dish, it provides a buttery, spicey, sharp, and sweet flavor to the dish. This cheese originates from Campania and is also known as “The Monk’s Provolone Cheese.” 


Over time, pasta has grown to be the signature dish of Italy. This dish has many variations, one of which is Nerano pasta. This pasta is considered unique based on its origin and its distinctive ingredients, like zucchini and provolone del Monaco.

You can find Nerano pasta and a host of other delicious Italian options when you dine with Mare Oyster Bar in the North End. Make a reservation with us today to get the best of both worlds!