I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Italian Cucuzza

Pronounced: ku-KOO-za.
A real Italian favorite. Cucuzza is a squash that can be cooked as you would most other varieties of squashes. The flavor of cucuzza is a cross between yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber. Cucuzza must be peeled before it is cooked, the seeds are edible much the same as cucumber seeds.
Cucuzza actually means squash in Italian so it can refer to any variety such as zucchini, summer squash, butternut etc. But the actual italian cucuzza variety can grow up to three feet long and is lime green in color. As with most varieties they can be prepared in a multitude of ways; “fried, steamed, baked. They can be used in savory cooking as well as desserts.
If you cannot find the Italian Cucuzza squash you may substitute zucchini. But if you can find it give it a try.

Stewed Cucuzza

One 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
2 lbs cucuzza squash peeled and cut it to bite sized chunks(if using zucchini there is no need to peel)
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey is optional (but really adds so much more to the dish).

Place oil in a large skillet and sauté chopped onions. Add meat and brown. Season with your salt, red pepper and oregano. When meat is almost cooked, add stewed tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir squash into mixture and cook for about 30 minutes more or until tender. Serve plain or over spaghetti with Romano cheese.

1 comment:

Kathy P. said...

Next time I make this I will add a 6 oz. can tomato paste for more flavor and a thicker sauce.