Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

Food Blog

Recipe of the Week (September 22, 2014)

Posted by William Abruzzo on September 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM


Pasta con Tenerumi (Pasta with Sautéed Cucuzza Tendrils & Cherry Tomatoes)



        This week's recipe takes us to the region of Sicily, where cucuzza squash grow on trellises and arbors in back yard gardens.  The long slender squash are native to Sicily and the regions south of Naples. The leaves and tendrils of this unusual squash are tender and delicious.  When sautéed with cherry tomatoes and tossed with pasta, you have a meal that would make any Sicilian proud.  Add some diced prosciutto or crushed red chili flakes for extra bold flavor. And, be sure to top it off with fresh grated ricotta salata cheese! 



Pasta 1 lb

Prosciutto 4 ounces (diced)

Olive Oil to saute

Cucuzza Tendrils & Leaves 1 large bowl (about 2 lbs)

Cherry Tomatoes 1 dry quart

Garlic 4 cloves

Black Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Crushed Red Pepper to taste (optional)

Ricotta Salata for topping


        Use the top 2 inches of the tendrils and the small leaves that are no more than 2 inches in diameter. Chop the greens and boil them in lightly salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, set the pasta to boil in lightly salted water. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and dice the prosciutto and garlic. Coat the bottom of a six quart frying pan generously with olive oil, set it on a low burner, add the prosciutto and garlic, and saute until the garlic is soft. Then, add the cherry tomatoes, season with salt and spices, and continue sauteeing until the skins on the cherry tomatoes pucker and they release some of their juices. When the greens are tender, strain them and add them to the frying pan. When the pasta is done, add it to the frying pan and toss well. Serve hot, topped with plenty of ricotta salata cheese.


Categories: Pasta and Risotto

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