About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Oven-Browned Tomatoes | Main | Fried Zucchini in Vinegar and Garlic »

Fried Zucchini with Flour and Water Batter

The extra bonus for being the first of the Pomodori to work with, and report on, a new ingredient, is the opportunity to discuss the most important aspect of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - the professorial lecture that will likely introduce that ingredient.

Remember, when we began this challenge, we approached the project as "virtual" students. Although Marcella may no longer be physically teaching classes, we can continue to learn from her. Before you read our next eight days of posts about zucchini, open you copy of Essentials and read Marcella's treatise on this most classic Italian vegetable.

Quoting: "It is no exaggeration to say that when you explore all the ways of cooking zucchini, you reach for and bring within your grasp most of the processes that make up Italian cooking."

Now, back to the first of the zucchini, the basic - la pastella. Thin lengthwise slices dipped in a simple, light flour batter and fried in very hot oil. There is really no need for me to discuss the process. The pictures will suffice.





Comments (4)

Marcella Hazan:

I am so comforted by your skillful execution of my recipes, Deborah. I am a great believer in this batter that, when done carefully, can produce fried food on a par with the best tempura. Whether it was just Victor and me or a tableful of friends, I have never succeeded in making so many of these zucchini that there was a singe piece left over. Thank you, my dear.

Deborah responds: Marcella, what I didn't mention in my post -- this was our entire dinner that night. Dan started sneaking slices as they came out of the pan. In self defense, I found I needed to munch on my share or lose them. We ate them all as we stood around the stove.


I learned to fry veggies with sparkling water with a couple ice cubes to make it very cold. I also use 00 flour for lightness. Wonder if the results are the same? Yummy is what counts.

Looks delicious!!!


I had a gardener over yesterday. He is going to help me grow my own vegetables. They say that the zucchini becomes prolific in this part of the world. Luckily Marcella appears to have been very fond of zucchini, going by the number of her recipes.

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