Back in ’09, Artichoke shared his family’s recipe for cucuzza sauce, which is a tomato-based sauced cooked with zucchini and yellow squash sauce. Growing up in a Sicilian-American family, this sauce was a staple meal in his home, passed down from his grandmother from Palermo. It’s full of flavor and super easy to make.
Like many Sicilians, many Sundays were enjoyed, thanks to my grandmother and later my parents’ amazing dinners. My fondest memories growing up were those revolving their cooking. One of my favorite meals was cucuzza (squash), especially in sauce over pasta.
The beauty of cooking this mild tasting veggie is the fact that it’s very versatile. There are endless ways to cook this healthy gourd and I will share with you my favorite one. When shopping for cucuzza make sure to pick firm and unblemished ones. Green or yellow squash are equally good for this dish and don’t be afraid to use both. Since I didn’t have all of the ingredients my improvisation skills were tested. As it turned out tweaking the recipe a bit didn’t compromise the taste too much. Enjoy and let me know what you think of this simple dish.
- 3 tbsp of imported extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 1 (28 ounce) can of imported peeled tomatoes
- 3-4 medium sized yellow or green cucuzzas (peeled or unpeeled)
- 2 sprigs of freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tsp of oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- While you sauté the garlic in a large saucepan, slice the cucuzza into ¼ inch pieces and set aside. Just before the garlic browns, place the cucuzza in the pan and turn the heat to medium. Sauté the cucuzza for about 10 minutes or until it looks translucent &make sure it doesn’t brown. Add tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. As the sauce cooks, take your sauce spoon and gently chop the tomatoes up so they are chunky. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite pasta and sprinkle on some freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.