FEGATO AI SETTE CANNOLI – Sweet and Sour Winter Squash

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This Sicilian winter squash dish has a very misleading name “Liver from the Seven Pipes” and a wonderful story. Sette Cannoli refers to the very poor neighborhood near the Vucceria market in Palermo where there stood a fountain with seven spouts. The people were so poor that they could never afford to buy meat. Pumpkin or winter squash cooked like liver was the most they could hope for.


  • 2 lb. piece of Butternut or Hubbard winter squash
  • 1/3 C. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 C. mint leaves, chopped, saving some for garnish
  • 1/2 C. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • Salt and pepper


Peel the squash, remove and discard the seeds, and cut the pulp into 1/2 in. slices. Saute the slices in the oil until tender and lightly browned on both sides. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and sprinkle with the garlic and the mint leaves.

To the same pan that you have cooked the squash, add the garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and the sauce thickens. Pour over the squash, garnish with mint leaves and serve at room temperature.