Cucuzza Italian squash can be intimidating because it grows to such lengths, but it is as easy to manage as any summer squash. It has a delightfully mild flavor that goes will in any number of dishes.
This dish would be good with meat as well. Consider 1-1/2 pounds ground beef or veal or of your favorite sausage sliced. We ate it vegetarian and then made mini meatballs and added them to the sauce. Both were delicious.
Cucuzza in red gravy
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans stewed whole tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cups peeled, sliced, seeded cucuzza
1 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
Freshly grated parmesan, to taste
Pour olive oil in large pot. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft and onions are clear.
Put whole tomatoes in a bowl and break apart with fork. Add to pot with vegetables. Stir, breaking tomatoes down.
Add tomato paste and seasoning. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Add sliced cucuzza. Simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over angel hair pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Note: If you like the cucuzza firmer, cook for a shorter period of time.