Viola's Zucca in Agrodolce, Viola Buitoni's Sweet & Sour Winter Squash

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Serves 6 to 8 people

  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin half moons

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 or 5 peppercorns

  • salt to taste

  • pepper to taste

  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon currants

  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts

  • 1 2 pounds butternut squash, (note that I like to leave the peel on, it’s good for you and offers a variety in texture. But if you do not enjoy the skin, feel free to strip it off with a potato peeler.)

  • sugar to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F

  2. Heat the olive oil with the bay leaves, the peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.

  3. Lower the heat, cover and continue cooking until they are quite soft, stirring often to prevent catching and/or burning. You might need to add some water during the process. This will take about 30 minutes.

  4. Add the vinegar, currant and nuts and simmer until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add pepper and also the red pepper flakes if you are using it. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and check to see if you like the balance of sweet and sour, if necessary add sugar, if too sweet, counterpoint with a bit of salt.

  5. During the cooking of the onion, prepare the squash. Cut it in half length wise and remove the seeds. Slice each half in 1/2” thick half moons and crescents.

  6. Lay the slices on a parchment-lined baking tray in one layer. Salt them generously and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they are quite tender.

  7. Arrange the squash attractively in a serving platter, overlapping each other and with the bottom side of each slice facing up. Drizzle with olive oil.

  8. Pour the hot onions and vinegar mixture all over them, spreading the onions all over.

You can eat it at this point, though this is one of those dishes that greatly benefit from sitting for a day or two. Serve at room temperature.