Typically made with eggplant, this Sicilian favorite is made with pumpkin or hard yellow squash. With the Moroccan spices, it becomes a delicious stand alone vegetarian dish. Often as a side to fish or beef it is good as an appetizer too!



  • 1 pound cinderella squash or other pumpkin squash, in 1 inch cubes (blanched)

  • 1/2 pound zucchine, 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 1/2 inch
  • 1 head garlic, peeled split, sprout removed, chopped fine
  • EVOO as needed
  • 3 stocks celery or (1 cup fennel), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon(s) cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons fennel pollen
  • 2-3 tablespoons spicy eggplant pepper spread (purchased)
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (purchased or homemade)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Salt, pepper, coriander to taste

    Garnish with parmigiano reggiano or provolone


Blanch the squash in salted boiling water just until color set but still firm in center. Saute the onion and garlic in small amount of EVOO. Add the celery. Add zucchini.  Add and distribute well cinnamon, cocoa, fennel  pollen and cooked 2 minutes. Add raisins and wine, tomato sauce, and eggplant pepper sauce bring to simmer 2 more minutes. Add pinenuts. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, coriander. Serve over polenta, rice, pasta or as is! Serve with finely grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese or provolone.

Chef Note: The dish needs a little bit of a pepper punch, so if you cannot find the eggplant pepper spread, use 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and add it with the cinnamon.


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