Cucuzza Casserole

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.

If you get a chance to get your hands on one- snag it! If you don’t- then feel free to substitute squash or zucchini in this recipe.

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 9×13 baking dish. Place diced cucuzza in baking dish and set aside
  2. Melt butter in medium sized skillet and saute onion with a hefty sprinkle of salt until onion is translucent
  3. Add sausage and scramble until no longer pink
  4. Add canned tomatoes to pan along with garlic. Simmer until the liquid just about gone.
  5. Sprinkle cucuzza in baking dish with fresh basil and pour mixture from the skillet over the top. Dot with ricotta and gently combine.
  6. 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.

 

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