Anne's Blog

Umbria November Cuisine: Winter Squash Stars

Date: November 24, 2017 - categories: , , - Leave your thoughts

That rich orange winter squash has enhanced many a soup and pasta dish for us this November. Today, polpette di zucca are browning in the oven of our wood stove. You’d literally translate “polpette” as “meat balls” but no meat in these winter squash patties.

Here’s how to make Polpette di Zucca


  • about 1 – 1/2 lbs of winter squash, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese (q.b., ie, “quanto basta” or “as much as you need”) – about 1/2 c.
  • 1 egg
  • extra-virgin olive oil, q. b.
  • bread crumbs, q. b (or about a cup)
  • salt, pepper, q.b.
  • fresh sage (about 5 – 6 leaves), finely-diced – and adjust to your own taste
  • 2 slices of prosciutto, diced
  • a few slices of smoked scamorza cheese – or feta cheese



Slice winter squash:


Line baking tin with waxed paper and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, a bit of diced sage. Place squash slices in baking dish and bake in oven for about 30 minutes at 400 F or until squash slices are soft.


When squash slices soft, put in mixing bowl and mash:


Whisk egg and add to mashed squash:


Add bread crumbs and mix:



Add finely-diced sage and mix:


Stir in grated Parmesan and mix all well:



Dice scamorza and/of feta:



Put olive oil in a dish and in another, prepare a mixture of bread crumbs and Parmesan in preparation for making the polpette:


Form patties by hand, putting a bit of diced scamorza or feta in the mixture:



Dip each polpetta in olive oil and then roll each in bread crumbs/Parmesan mixture:



Arrange in baking tin, lined with waxed paper moistened with olive oil:


Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 F

During the baking of the polpette, flip over so that both sides of the patties become crispy:


Serve piping hot. And why not enjoy polpette di zucca as an antipasto before your Thanksgiving feast?
Buon appetito!


Click here for another winter squash recipe
Click here for a squash soup recipe
Click here for another squash recipe
Read about how Pino does our Thanksgiving turkey
Click here for a squash/prosciutto/sage pasta recipe
Try this winter recipe with squash and lemon zest
Click here for more recipes

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