166. Fritz and I were in the garden the other day and we realized our Cucuzza Squash was ready to pick!
In May, my honey and I prepared our little plot of land to plant several garden plants. Tomatoes, eggplant, basil, peppers and zucchini. Our backyard is very shaded and the only area with sun is along our fence. This little garden has produced wonderfully in past years. Just enough to handle with our busy schedules.
But my story is about these wonderful zucchini plants. Easy to grow, always produce beautifully. I even found a cute sign to place next to them. This year I rotated all my plants and placed the zucchini against the fence so it wouldn't be bothered or the leaves disturbed, which is the key to a healthy zucchini plant. There just happened to be a trellis at this spot.
I am so glad I did because within two weeks, to my surprise, these were not zucchini plants but "Cucuzza" Squash plants. Let's just say, it was like planting the bean that Jack bought! The vines started to grow upwards, wrapping around everything in site. And then I realized this was not just a simple plant but an adventure.
What is a Cucuzza Squash you ask? It is part of the squash family and grows very long. You can prepare it in recipes as you would for zucchini or summer squash. The flowers bloom in the evening and all night long. You have to check out this website: CucuzzaSquash.com and listen to the hilarious song "My Cucuzza" by Louis Prima.
I have heard this squash called many different names before and I have tasted it. Some call it "Guguts", "Cuccuzi" or "Cuzzcuzz" Squash.
Take a small casserole dish and spray it with oil and spoon prepared tomato sauce in the bottom. I layered the Cucuzza across the bottom, and sprinkled it with mozzarella cheese. Then, I repeated a second layer till all the rounds were used. I then sprinkled the top with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Then baked it, covered, for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees. Don't forget to remove the cover during the last 10 minutes so the cheese can brown. You could also add sweet Italian sausage by placing small slices or meatballs around the squash.
It turned out lovely. The Cucuzza Squash is very mild and will compliment this dish. Using it in a vegetable lasagna would be a great idea as well.
"Now you can have your pasta and your Chicken Cacciatore. I'd rather have cucuzza cause for me it means I'm more. So when the moon is shinin' brite from dear old Napolí. I dream of my cucuzza she's the only dish for me!"