Stuffed Cucuzza

Cucuzza, pronounced “Googootz,” is an Italian term of endearment. “Googootz” is also the Italian slang for “zucchini,” and refers to a squash-like vegetable that Italians and Italian-Americans grow called cucuzza. Unlike zucchini, it’s not a true squash; it is a gourd. Cucuzza, known for its extreme length, can grow anywhere from fifteen inches to three feet in length and can be upwards of three inches in diameter. Its shape can be long and straight or can have a slight curvature. Its pale green skin is thin yet inedible and encases a creamy white flesh. There are many dishes that you can create from this large vegetable including stuffed cucuzza, cucuzza soup, roasted cucuzza, and chocolate cucuzza cake! Try this stuffed cucuzza recipe…

Stuffed Cucuzza Ingredients:

1 large cucuzza

1/2 onion, small dice

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 small tomato, diced

Large handful of fresh kale

2 TBS fresh parsley, finely cut

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 cup parmesan, shredded or shaved

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs

1 egg

How to Make Stuffed Cucuzza:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat and add the diced onions.

3. Scoop out the inside flesh of the cucuzza with a spoon. Chop into small pieces and add to the skillet along with the garlic and diced tomatoes.

4. Stir until mixture softens & add a splash of balsamic.

5. Continue cooking for a few minutes unTl the mixture caramelizes.

6. Chop it up with your spoon, and add kale, parsley, and basil.

7. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool.

8. Add parmesan, mozzarella, and bread crumbs. Mix well.

9. Beat the egg with a fork and add, blending it well.

10. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out cucuzza and top with some parmesan cheese.

11. Place the stuffed cucuzza in a pan or large baking dish, whichever it fits into.

12. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese, longer if you like it crispy.

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