Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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

Cucuzza Vegetable Soup

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Cucuzza Vegetable Soup
Zuppa di Verdure Cucuzza Longa
by James Belardo

When I was a young boy growing up in Brooklyn (NYC), many of our neighbors grew a unique summer squash originally from Sicily, the cucuzza. The cucuzza (cucuzza longa) can grow about 6-feet long, it’s pretty incredible. Ebery year we ‘attempt’ growing the cucuzza and some years are better than others. This year we had a reasonable crop and had to come up with different ways to prepare the cucuzza.  We love using fresh vegetables grown in our own garden and this dish is a testament ti that.

Ingredients
1/2 48-inch cucuzza (2-4 lbs)
a bunch of Swiss chard
1 small onion, cut
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
2-4 carrots, cut into small pieces
4-6 stalks celery
6- 8 plum tomatoes, cut
1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
8+ cups water
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 bay leaves
Flat-leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Peperoncino Fiocchi (hot pepper flakes) – optional

Directions
1. Sauté the onions, garlic and optional hot pepper flakes in 3-4 tbsp of olive oil.
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2. When the onions begin to show shines of transparency and the garlic softens add the cucuzza. Mix well and let cook covered for 5-10 minutes, mixing often.
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3. Once the cucuzza begins to soften add the celery and carrots, mix well.
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4. After about 5-10 minutes, add a cup of water, wait until it simmers then add a second cup.
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5. After about 5 minutes or so of simmering add the chopped tomatoes.
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6. Toss in the bay leaves and add the cup of wine, let return to a simmer.
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7. Begin adding the water (4 cups initially). Add one cup at a time allowing the soup to come to a boil before adding the next.
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8. Taste and season the soup while cooking. Take your time, add the salt and pepper a bit at a time and let the soup cook.
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9. As you’re getting close to the taste add the chopped Swiss chard, mix well and once it comes boil lower the heat to allow int to simmer.
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10. Continuing tasting you can add the lemon juice and fresh flat-leaf parsley, cook for 5-10 minutes
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Enjoy

The Grape Gourmet
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Written by Zio James

October 15, 2018 at 4:15 PM

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