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    Zucchine in Agrodolce

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    Zucchine in Agrodolce

    A Sicilian dish of tender little courgettes in a raisiny, sweet-sour sauce, with the salty touch of anchovies and olives and the crunch of pine kernels. It's usually served as an antipasto, but is delicious with grilled lamb, cold roast chicken or anything from the barbecue.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes plus salting
    • Cooking time: 75 minutes
    • Total time: 1 and ½ hours, plus salting 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 20 baby courgettes
    • Salt
    • 6 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, slivered
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 2 sticks celery, chopped
    • 2 tbsp green olives
    • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp raisins or sultanas
    • 2-3 salted anchovy fillets, mashed with a fork
    • 4 tbsp sugar
    • To finish
    • 2 tbsp pine kernels
    • 1 tbsp freshly chopped basil or mint


    1. Halve the baby courgettes lengthways, place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
    2. Heat half the oil in a heavy pan over a medium-high heat, carefully lay in the courgettes and fry briefly, turning once, until lightly gilded - about 10 minutes. Remove and put in a colander to drain, returning the drippings to the pan along with the remaining oil. Fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft but not browned. Add the tomato purée and celery and leave to cook gently for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. Add the remaining ingredients, let them heat through until bubbling, then turn the heat down, cover loosely and cook for 30-40 minutes. Return the courgettes to the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine kernels in a dry pan over a medium heat. Serve the courgettes warm or at room temperature, scattered with the pine kernels and the basil or mint.

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