Tenerumi are the leaves of the cucuzza, a Sicilian zucchini. Father Sal felt there could be no substitute but we made a good soup in the same spirit with dandelion greens and spinach.
- 4 cups tenerumi, dandelion greens, or spinach, trimmed, washed, and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3⁄4 lb. spaghettini, broken into pieces
- 1 large piece parmigiano-reggiano
- Put tenerumi with water still clinging to the leaves into a medium nonreactive pot. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until leaves have wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer tenerumi to a bowl and set aside. Wipe pot dry with paper towels and return to medium-low heat.
- Heat oil in the same pot, then add onions and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and continue to cook and stir for about 30 seconds. Add reserved tenerumi, tomatoes, and 15 cups water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, bring soup to a boil, and add spaghettini. Reduce heat to medium and simmer soup until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve with parmigiano-reggiano for grating at the table.