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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Busiate con “Tenerumi” e Pomodorini Confit (Pasta with Long Squash Leaves & Confit Cherry Tomatoes)

“Tenerumi” are the leaves and tender shoots of the long squash plant called “cucuzza” found all over Sicilian markets at this time of the year. These greens are eaten all over Sicily and, as I found out thanks to your messages, also in other parts of Italy, the Mediterranean and South Asia, where they are known by different names.

Here in Sicily, we grow up eating tenerumi (literally meaning “tender things” because of the texture of their leaves and stems) as a delicious summer soup.

These leafy greens are so delicious that apparently even 3⭐ Michelin chef @heinzbecklapergola when asked what his favourite Sicilian dish was, said it’s “his mother in law’s Pasta con Tenerumi”.

Here I made a different version - the leafy greens, and stems, are sautéed in olive oil, garlic and chillies; then used to accompany “busiate” - a type of long macaroni originally from the Trapani province in Sicily.

Topped everything with confit cherry tomatoes (see my previous post for the recipe) and a generous amount of grated caciocavallo cheese (typical of my hometown).

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 400g busiate

  • 1 large bunch of fresh “tenerumi”

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 fresh red chilli

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 tbsp confit cherry tomatoes (recipe in my previous post)

  • 2-3 tbsp Ragusano DOP caciocavallo cheese (or other grated cheese)

  • Salt to taste


Remove only the larger stalks from tenerumi. Roughly chop and soak the rest in ice-cold water (this will keep the colour bright).

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add sea salt and throw in your pasta. Cook according to packaging.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic “in camicia”, meaning just smash the cloves with a large knife without removing the skin or chopping them. This way it will flavour the oil but you can remove the cloves and discard at the end. Add also the red chilly, finely chopped.

Stir in the tenerumi. They will wilt quickly and you just want to sauté them until the stems are tender.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, transfer it from the pot to the pan with the greens, using a slotted spoon. Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Turn off the flame, add the grated cheese and mix well to combine.

Serve immediately.

Word of the Day


(Garlic, pronounced à·glio)

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