Hello everyone. This is Jack and I’m honored to share the story behind this recipe for Zucchini and Eggs – or as my Italian family called it Cocozelle.
Zucchini and Eggs is a simple, classic Italian dish and it is often served for breakfast or dinner when summertime’s garden zucchini is plentiful.
Looking around in cookbooks and online – there are many slang names for this delicious dish. Each Italian family seems to have their own name for it like ‘gagoots’ or ‘gagooch’ – and often times the name of the recipe is simply someone’s interpretation of an Italian word spoken by a relative in the family who came from ‘the old country.’
When I was growing up, this zucchini and eggs dish was called Cocozelle (pronounced koo-ka-zeel). Initially, I didn’t know how my parents spelled the name of this recipe – but then my father (aka Grampa) pulled out a seed pack from a drawer and showed me the picture on the front of the package.
Cocozelle is actually a striped, heirloom variety of zucchini – that we just happened to be growing in our own garden this summer! After doing more research, we discovered that the official name is Cocozella di Napoli and the small, baby-sized squash are considered a delicacy in Naples, Italy. It is regarded as one of the best zucchini varieties to cook with because of its low moisture content and rich but mild flavor.
Regardless of what you call this fantastic dish – I have extremely fond memories of my Aunt Mary making zucchini and eggs. I often raced over to her house on my bike when I knew she was making this – and all these years later, I still remember her kitchen and the flavors of this dish like it was yesterday.
I love this dish, and I hope you will too.Print
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups large diced onion
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium clove of garlic, sliced thin
- 1 ½ pounds fresh zucchini cut into one inch quarter rounds (if possible get the cocozelle which has light stripes running along the squash and has a more delicate flavor and thinner skin)
- 4 whole eggs
- 2½ tablespoons milk (use whole milk if possible but not crucial)
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter in oil over medium heat and add onions, salt and pepper. Cook for about ten minutes and add garlic. Cook for another five to ten minutes or until onions are nice and browned and caramelized. Remove onions to a bowl but leave fat in the pan.
- Add zucchini and sauté over medium high for about five minutes or until tender.
- While zucchini is cooking, mix eggs with milk and set aside.
- Once zucchini finishes cooking, add onions back in, reduce to medium and add egg mixture.
- Turn with a spatula or wooden spoon and cook just until the eggs are scrambled.
- Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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