We have some super cool friends that love growing food as much as we do. They grew some amazingly huge cucuzza squash – and blessed us with one.
First- you have to prepare the cucuzza. This means paring away the peel and removing the seeds. I found it quickest to pare, cut in half, and then scoop the centers out.
I took the centers and painstakingly removed the seeds so that I could use the flesh around the seeds. If you are short on time- then you can just compost/trash the seed centers and use the rest of the flesh.
This casserole is very wet. If you are looking for a more solid/dry casserole – then put all the squash in a colander and heavily salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes in a sink or bowl to drain the excess liquid. Rinse well and then follow the instructions as written.
Cheezy Cucuzza Casserole
- 6 cups cubed cucuzza squash (can sub zucchini)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb loose Italian sausage
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tbs fresh chopped basil
- 1-2 cups fresh ricotta
- 12 oz grated mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 9×13 baking dish. Place diced cucuzza in baking dish and set aside
- Melt butter in medium sized skillet and saute onion with a hefty sprinkle of salt until onion is translucent
- Add sausage and scramble until no longer pink
- Add canned tomatoes to pan along with garlic. Simmer until the liquid just about gone.
- Sprinkle cucuzza in baking dish with fresh basil and pour mixture from the skillet over the top. Dot with ricotta and gently combine.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes, until cucuzza is tender with no crunch left. Cover with foil towards the end if needed.