Anne's Blog

Sicilian Squash Goodness for an American Holiday

Date: November 30, 2016 - categories: , , - 1 Comment

We always celebrate Thanksgiving in our Assisi farmhouse…with a little italiano input. Pino’s turkey takes center stage. A winter squash dish from the island of Ustica, off Sicily, is always a side dish. I learned to make it years ago from Signora Giovanna at Ristorante Umberto on Ustica.

….and here’s the recipe:

Zucca Agliata “Garliced Winter Squash”

  • winter squash in slices – about 24 – each one just under an inch thick or so
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, q. b. (“quanto basta” or “as much as you need”)
  • wine vinegar 1/2 – 1 c.
  • sugar, 1 TBSP or a bit needed
  • salt, pepper, q. b.
  • i fennel, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • wild fennel seeds or dill seeds – or oregano
  • optional: capers


Slice winter squash into medium-sized pieces are just under about 1” thick


Heat olive oil and add garlic cloves, lightly frying until golden (do not burn!).
Remove garlic cloves from oil.


Raise heat to “sizzling”. Be sure that there is at least 1/2 in. olive oil in the pan and that oil is “spitting”, though not smoking. Slide in squash slices, leaving no spaces between slices. Brown squash slices on both sides.



Remove from heat and pat dry. Prepare agrodolce (“sweet/sour”) mixture: mix about 1 c. wine vinegar with 1 tsp sugar. (Giovanna points out that sugar/vinegar proportions will depend on personal taste).



Leave just a bit of olive oil and return squash to pan. Add shredded carrot, shredded garden fennel and wild fennel seeds (if not available, use dill – or oregano, as preferred), salt and pepper as desired.



Pour agrodolce mixture over all and add oregano or dill or fennel seeds – and if you wish, a handful of capers. Simmer uncovered until liquid evaporates.



Then serve. Buon appetito!


Read about – and see! – Pino’s famous Thanksgiving turkey, i.e., il tacchino di Pino
Read more about Ustica – and why we love it
Read about – and see! – the colors of this magical island
Read more about Ustica and beloved Pasquale
Click here for another winter squash recipe
Click here for a tasty, easy squash pasta recipe
Click here for a tasty squash antipasto recipe
Click here for a squash/prosciutto/sage pasta recipe
Try this winter recipe with squash and lemon zest

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