Zucca alia Parmigiana

A tasty Italian dish, Zucca alia Parmigiana (zoo-kah ah-lah pahr-mee-ja-nah) makes a delicious supper served with a green salad and a chilled Soave wine.

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 oz. dry breadcrumbs

2 lb. pumpkin flesh, cut into slices

1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons tomato puree

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

First make the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, the tomato puree, basil, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, using the teaspoon of butter, grease an ovenproof dish. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Place the eggs on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Dip the pumpkin slices in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.

In a large frying-pan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, fry the pumpkin slices, a few at a time, for 5 minutes, turning once until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the slices to the prepared dish.

Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately.

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