Cucuzzelli (Little Zucchini)

Hopefully some of you still have some of your zucchini harvest.  This zucchini recipe has been in my family since before I was born.  It works just as well with store bought zucchini.  I haven’t had any luck with growing zucchini but that may be due to the fact that I grow my garden in pots and may not have enough nutrients.  It’s almost like a stew – hard to describe because there really isn’t anything similar except maybe Eggplant Caponata.

The gravy that’s needed in this recipe can be Marinara or a meat gravy.  A large fresh loaf of crusty Italian bread is delicious with this recipe.

My husband’s family recipe was called Ciambotta and included potatoes.  My family didn’t make this way and I don’t even know how or when to add the potatoes.  Does your family have a vegetable stew recipe?

Enjoy.

Cut zucchini and starting to heat.

Zucchini after the liquid is expelled during heating.

Add the gravy after the liquid has evaporated and the zucchini has become soft.

Mix the gravy in.  Note how the color changes.

Add an egg and mix well.  Notice the flecks of egg white in the mixture  Add the second egg and you’ll need to mix well.

Cook a few minutes to ensure the eggs are fully cooked and heated through.   Add the grated cheese.

Mix well and prepare to serve.  Notice the color of the mixture has become much lighter.

Cucuzzelli

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 medium zucchini
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons or to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup gravy or to taste
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cups grated cheese or to taste (I use Pecorino Romano)

Directions:

Step 1:  Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters and then into 1/4 inch width-wise (1/8 inch if you are using fewer larger zucchini).  Place 1/3 of cut zucchini into a small stock pot or large sauce pot and sprinkle with some of the salt.  Repeat with 1/3 more of the cut zucchini and salt and then with the remaining zucchini and salt.  Heat the pot on medium or a little lower with the cover on.  Stir often with a wooden spoon so the zucchini doesn’t stick.  If there’s condensation on the pot cover when you lift it, don’t let the liquid fall back into the pot as it will be that much more liquid that has to evaporate later on.

Step 2:  As the zucchini cooks for 20 to 25 minutes, liquid will be expelled from the squash.  When the zucchini has softened, most of the liquid has been expelled.  Turn the heat down to low or a little higher.  Continue stirring frequently with the cover removed until the liquid has mostly evaporated.  This could take another 20 to 30 minutes.  The squash should be very soft at this point.

Step 3:  Add the gravy and mix well.  Cook for an additional few minutes to ensure the addition is heated through.  Notice that the color of the mixture has changed to be rather red.

Step 4:  Add an egg and stir well to break the yolk and incorporate it well into the mixture.  You may see some small specks of egg white in the mixture.  If using the second egg, repeat with the second egg.  Cook for an additional few minutes to ensure the eggs are heated and cooked through.  The color of the mixture has lightened a bit with this addition.

Step 5:  Add the grated cheese and mix well.  Serve with fresh crusty Italian bread.

This recipe stores well in the refrigerator and tastes just as good as left-overs.

Enjoy!!!

My family recipe.

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