Recipe | Courgettes agrodolce with sticky onions by Anna Jones

Recipe and words extracted from Easy Wins by Anna Jones

Agrodolce means sweet and sour in Italian. In Italy there are so many ways of using this contrast of flavours to bring out the most in ingredients. Here I’ve used courgettes, but this technique would work for aubergine, thinly sliced butternut squash or fennel. The hit of vinegar which might feel angry on its own is offset with a little bit of sugar, which mellows the acidity and rounds off the flavour. I’ve written this recipe to serve 2 people but it can easily be doubled, though you will need to fry the courgettes in a few batches.

Courgettes Agrodolce with Sticky Onions by Anna Jones, Easy Wins

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side


5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to serve

4 small or 2 regular courgettes (500g), cut into 1.5cm-thick rounds

1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar 

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, plus extra to serve

1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

½ a bunch of mint (15g), leaves picked

250g ricotta


Fry the courgettes

Heat a frying pan over a medium­ high heat and add 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season 500g courgettes cut into 1.5cm-thick rounds with sea salt and fry them for 3-4 minutes on each side or until blistering and golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon on to a plate.

Cook the onion and add the agrodolce

Add 1 thinly sliced red onion to the same pan and lower the heat. Fry for 10 minutes until soft, then add 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar and 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes and return the courgette pieces to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, then taste and season and divide the courgettes and onion between two plates.

Season and finish

Sprinkle over 1 peeled and thinly sliced clove of garlic and a few more dried chilli flakes, tear over the leaves from half a bunch of mint and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season 250g of ricotta with salt and pepper and spoon it next to the courgettes.


More recipes by Anna Jones:

Cauliflower caponata

Double lemon cake with streusel topping