Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

Cibo, vino e liquori di cucina in tutto il mondo.

Cucuzza – Stewed with Chickpeas

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Cucuzza – Stewed with Chickpeas
Stufato di Cucuzza Con Ceci
by James Belardo

When I was a young boy growing up in Brooklyn (NYC), many of our neighbors grew a summer squash originally from Sicily, the cucuzza. The cucuzza (cucuzza longa) can grow up-to 6-feet long, it’s pretty incredible. I never thought that such a plant could have such a profound impact. Somehow, this ubiquitous plant (at least in our neighborhood) would come to symbolize a good part of my childhood.

I’m not a great gardener but do have some land to give ‘er ago, I try, year after year and can only nurture one or two ‘fruit.’ Every year we ‘attempt’ to grow cucuzza, some years are better than others but this year we had a reasonable crop. Having an abundance of this vegetable created a challenge, we had to come up with different ways to prepare it.

Ingredients
3-4 pounds cucuzza squash, peeled, deseeded and cut.
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 small red onions, cut
1 can chickpeas/ceci (drained)
28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
4-6 tbsp olive oil
fresh basil
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, juice
salt and  pepper – to taste
Peperoncino Fiocchi (hot pepper flakes) – optional

Garnish
Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Flat-leaf Parsley

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Directions
1. In a large dutch oven, sauté the onions, garlic and optional Peperoncino Fiocchi (hot pepper flakes).
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2. When onions begin to turn translucent, toss in the cut cucuzza. Mix well and cover.
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3. After about 5-10 minutes or when the cucuzza become tender, add a cup of wine and mix well.
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4. Once the liquid begins to boil, add the hand crushed tomatoes.
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5. After about 5-10 minutes add the bay leaves followed by the chickpeas.
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6. As it simmers add the fresh (or frozen) basil and the lemon juice
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7. Let cook for about 10-20 minutes, taste often and add salt and pepper to taste
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8. Once the seasoning is close to what you like, add the fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
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Serve with grated pecorino Romano and flat leaf parsley on top

Enjoy

The Grape Gourmet
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Written by Zio James

September 17, 2019 at 10:54 AM

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