Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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Baked Cavatelli With Cucuzza and Ground Veal

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Baked Cavatelli With Cucuzza and Ground Veal
Cavatelli Al Forno Con Cucuzza E Vitello Macinato
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.

This recipe is fairly simple, the favors of these simple vegetables complement each other

Ingredients
Ragu – Cucuzza and Ground Veal
Ricotta Mixture (Savory)
Flat-leaf Parsley
Fior di Latte or mozzarella
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions
1. Prepare Cucuzza and Veal Ragu
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2. As the ragu cooks, prepare the Ricotta Mixture and make the pasta.
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3. Mix the drained pasta with the ricotta mixture.
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4. Spoon the Cucuzza and Veal Ragu into the pan as a layer.
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5. Add a layer of the pasta/ricotta mixture
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6. Cover the top of the pasta with a final layer of the Cucuzza / Veal Ragu and top with Fior d’Latte or mozzarella.
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7.  Place in oven (350F) and cook until the mozzarella is melted and browning.
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Serve with grated pecorino Romano and flat leaf parsley on top

Enjoy

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Written by Zio James

September 9, 2019 at 12:01 PM

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