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It has been a bumper zucchini season not only for mamma, but also for my brother in law and work colleagues. I have received more zucchini from multiple sources than I know what to do with but luckily mamma has come up with a fabulous zucchini recipe. She surprised Mark and me with a dish she had never made before when we went to her place for lunch a few weeks back. Now that may not sound like much but the fact that she is now 87 and still manages to explore new recipes is fairly impressive. She looked through her old Italian cook books, considered what ingredients she had in the kitchen and made zucchine al prosciutto (braised zucchini with prosciutto).



The recipe uses a kilo (just over 2 lbs) of zucchini so is a great way to use up excess large overgrown zucchini that you might have in your garden. They are cut into large dice, cooked in butter and white wine until soft. Deliciously savoury prosciutto and more butter are stirred through just prior to serving. The dish is tasty and delicate and has become an immediate family favourite. It is a simple recipe and can be served as a side dish to grilled chicken or even tossed through pasta.

I asked mamma for the recipe one night on the phone, after we had taken the leftovers of what she had made home. The next time I went to visit her, I found that she had written the recipe out by hand, in that rather Italian style where the ingredients are throughout the recipe rather than at the start. I was quite moved by her beautiful recipe written in her lovely and very familiar hand-writing. What a special gift she had given me! So in return, I have named the dish after her. The hand-written recipe is something I will treasure in the years to come and I am so happy to be able to share it with you today.




zucchine al prosciutto di Livia

1 brown onion, finely diced
70g (2 and 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
1kg (2 and 1/5 lbs) zucchini
1/2 cup white wine
50g (2 oz) prosciutto, cut into smallish pieces
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese to serve

To prepare the zucchini, make sure you peel any very large zucchini as their skin can be tough and remove the central seeds and softer flesh. cut them into rounds about 1cm (2/5 inch) thick. Cut each round into quarters and then into cubes. Set aside until needed.

Place 50g (2oz) butter into a large pan with a lid and melt on low-medium heat. Add the  onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the zucchini to the pan and cook on reasonably high heat, stirring fairly frequently so that the pieces of zucchini do not burn. After 10 minutes, add the wine and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes to allow some of the wine to evaporate then lower the heat and cover. Cook until the zucchini pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 20 minutes.

Add the rest of the butter and turn the heat up to high for a couple of minutes so that the zucchini caramelise further. Stir in the prosciutto and remove from the heat.

Scatter on Parmesan cheese to serve.






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