Pitticelle di Zucchine


Bob's Pitticelle di Zucchine Recipe

Pitticelle. What a lovely word, and what a lovely memory of getting home from school and finding a plate of pitticelle on the stove, near the pilot light (remember pilot lights?). A Google search will reveal many fancier versions, which include eggs or cheese or herbs, and are often referred to as fritters, a term I resist because it reminds me of tater-tots. I prefer my Mom’s version, which is probably close to the original. What could be simpler: a little oil, water and flour, and a zucchini straight from the garden.

Here’s what you need.

1 zucchini (cucuzza)
1 c flour
salt and pepper
garlic powder (optional)
olive oil, for frying

After washing the zucchini and trimming the ends, slice it into thin disks. Put the flour in a small bowl and gradually add water, stirring constantly with a fork (which for this batter works better than a whisk) until the batter becomes smooth and relatively thick. You can test it by dipping a zucchini disk into the batter, which should cling to the disk and your fingers. When the batter is the right consistency, add a little salt and pepper, and garlic powder, if desired.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized fry pan over medium-high heat. Test the oil temperature by putting a drop of the batter into it; you want the batter to sizzle immediately. Using your fingers, pick up two or three zucchini disks (somewhat fanned out, not stacked) and dip them in the batter. It’s best to have the bowl close to the pan to avoid leaving a trail of batter. Add the disks to the batter and fry until they’re golden brown on both sides. The pitticelle will not be symmetrical, uniform or in any identifiable shape, which is part of their charm. Remove them to a platter lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining zucchini. Salt again, if desired, and you’re ready to eat.

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