Cucuzza di Friiri! Zucchini!


We created a new garden bed and sowed some Cucuzza (Zucchini) seeds. They all germinated. The Zucchini plants are growing like crazy and today we picked the first of the crop!

I have already written about Sicilian Cucuzza and I admit that it can be confusing. The Cucuzza in my previous blog is Cucuzza Di Rascari, which generally translates to “Cucuzza that is Scraped” this describes how we peel the Cucuzza.

Cucuzza di Friiiri translates into “Cucuzza that is Fried,” which describes one of the preparations of the Zucchini. We never fry Cucuzza di Rascari we only stew or boil. Cucuzza di Friiri is a lot more versatile. At our house it is fried with or without breading, stewed as a side dish or pasta topping, roasted or baked as a vegetable and even made into a dessert.

Today we stuffed and baked our garden Zucchini and made Zucchini Alla Genovese which means “In the Style of the City of Genova” which is not Sicilian but nonetheless a favorite at our house. It is a simple recipe, we always have the ingredients on hand and it is tasty both hot and at room temperature.

Zucchini Alla Genovese


Six Small Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (We like a little larger Zucchini so I used 3 larger Zucchini)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic, finely minced

Salt & Pepper

1/3 Cup Breadcrumbs

1 Teaspoon Dry Oregano

2 Tablespoons Grated Romano Cheese (can also use Parmigiano)



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Scoop out Zucchini pulp. Put cored Zucchini in a baking dish. Chop pulp finely.
  3. Place oil in a sauté plan over medium heat. Add garlic, Zucchini pulp and salt and pepper. Sauté about 3 minutes until Zucchini is cooked. Remove from heat and cool. Add breadcrumbs, oregano and cheese.
  4. Fill cored Zucchini with the stuffing mixture.
  5. Pour ½ cup water mixed with 1teaspoon olive oil into the bottom of the baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until breadcrumbs begin to brown.