Nonna Josie has taught us many recipes and Pasta Cucuzza is one of our favourites. On the surface it’s a very basic sauce, but for us it’s a delectable dish that is requested by the children when going to Nonna’s house.
Many of Nonna’s dishes were designed post war when supplies were scarce. Dishes were created with vegetables they could pick from the garden and from what was already in the pantry. Cucuzza, Zucchini, grew in abundance and so Pasta Cucuzza was made frequently.
It’s important to use good quality ingredients in this recipe because there are not many of them and there is nowhere to hide! Use fresh basil, high quality extra virgin olive oil and a reliable tinned tomato that you know are sweet and rich in flavour.We use the BioNature Organic Tomatoes but when we’re making a big batch, we use the Bel Sapori large tins.
Pasta Cucuzza with Durum Tagliatelle
- 4 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil [we recommend Pendletons classic extra virgin olive oil]
- 200gm Onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1.2kg Zucchini cut into large dice
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 800gm Tinned Tomatoes
- 1lt Water (more can be added if sauce gets too thick)
- 1tsp dried oregano
- 8-10 leaves fresh basil chopped
- 1kg Durum Linguine
- 1tbs Salt for pasta water
- Put an oversized pot of water onto boil for the pasta and add salt to the water
- In a medium sized saucepan add half the olive oil, and all the onion and salt and sweat the onions on a medium heat until they are translucent but not brown (approx. 5mins)
- Add the large diced cucuzza/zucchini and fry off for 1 minute and then add the tinned tomatoes, water, remaining olive oil, dried oregano, dried coriander and half of the basil leaves
- Allow the sauce to cook for 15 minutes before adding the remaining fresh basil.
- Keep cooking for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced to your desired sauce consistency. Taste for salt.
- While the sauce is cooking, set the table, and pop parmesan, chilli flakes, salt, cracked pepper and olive oil into the centre of the table plus a couple of mats ready for the hot pans
- Add the durum linguine to the rapidly boiling water and put a timer on for 2 minutes. Get a colander ready in the sink. After 2 minutes test for readiness, al dente and not too soft, then tip immediately into the colander.
- Put drained pasta into a pasta bowl and add a little olive oil.
- Take the pasta and the hot sauce to the table. Have everyone sit down, serve some pasta into everyone’s plate with a scoop of sauce. Everyone can add their choice of condiments and enjoy!