Growing up in a Sicilian family, cucuzza was always around in the summer time.
Cucuzza is basically a giant squash that Sicilians usually grow.
Most people add them to red gravy to give the sauce body.
Some add them to soup.
Cucuzza doesn’t have a ton of flavor so it can adapt to any dish.
I decided to give it a Cajun twist and add it to rice dressing. Eggplant can be substituted for cucuzza in the dressing and it would be equally delicious.
Here is how I threw it all together.
Chop up the cucuzza and set aside. (peel the skin and remove the seeds).
Brown ground beef. After meat is browned, add onion, garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, green onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
Add cucuzza. Place lid on pot and cook until veggies are very soft.
Add Worcestershire, beef broth, Cajun seasoning.
Next, add Dijon and Dawn Fresh mushroom steak sauce.
Cook for a few minutes.
Add cooked rice (1 1/2 cups raw rice cooked in a rice cooker with 3 cups water or on the stove in a separate pot) and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.
***Freezes well (flat in Ziploc bags).
Cucuzza Rice Dressing
2 lbs ground beef
1 jalapeno, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cups chopped cucuzza, (skin and seeds removed)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 can Dawn Fresh Mushroom Steak Sauce
1 1/2 cups raw rice, cooked with 3 cups water on stove or in rice cooker
Brown the beef in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, green onions. Cook for a few minutes then add cucuzza.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook until veggies are very soft.
Add Worcestershire and beef stock. Then add Dijon mustard and Dawn Fresh Mushroom Steak Sauce.
Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes.
Stir in cooked rice. Taste for seasoning. I usually add Cajun seasoning to taste.