Tromboncino squash cannot be missed when displayed on a table at the farmers' market. When I spotted it, I squealed with joy, because it is a rather rare find. I must thank The Corn Crib for growing this beauty.
Besides being eye-catching with its long, curvy shape, it has a dense flesh and a delicate, pleasant flavor. Although it is harvested early and consumed as a summer squash, it does not belong to the Cucurbita pepo species like zucchini and other summer squashes, but rather to Cucurbita moschata, like butternut squash. Like its more famous relative, zucchetta has seeds only in the lower part of its body: the long neck is seedless.
I cut the zucchetta I brought home into two pieces and cooked 1 1/2 pound of neck the way I describe below. The rest I roasted and turned into a soup.
Print-friendly version of briciole's recipe for Tromboncino squash with tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pound tromboncino squash
- Extra-virgin olive oil (in a mister)
- A small onion (3 oz.), possibly of the variety called cipollini, finely diced
- 1 cup / 240 ml slow-roasted heirloom tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (origano)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Wash the squash and cut it into 3/8-inch / 1 cm slices, then cut each slice into quarters (in Italian: a tocchetti), adjusting your cutting to accommodate the curves of the squash.
Generously oil the bottom of a a 10 inch / 25 cm deep sauté pan and warm up, then add the onion and stir well to coat. Let the onion cook on low heat until softened, then add the squash and stir well. Turn up the heat to medium-low and cook for a a few minutes, then cover the pan and turn the heat to low.
Cook until the squash is tender, stirring now and then. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Continue to cook on gentle heat briefly to make sure the tomatoes warm up. Sprinkle the oregano, salt and pepper on the squash and stir well for one last time. Remove from the heat and serve.
Serves 5 as a side dish.
This is a flavorful side dish that brings together two of my favorite gifts from the earth. Eating it is celebrating the simple pleasures of life: fresh produce prepared with care.
The monochromatic photo is my contribution to edition #146 of Black and White Wednesday - A Culinary Photography Event created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, now organized by Cinzia of Cindystar, and hosted this week by Cinzia herself.
The photo was shot in color and then converted to black and white (Lightroom preset B&W Look 4).
The gallery of images contributed to the event.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the zucchetta al pomodoro audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
It's beautiful. It looks like a swan.
Posted by: Kalinda | October 07, 2014 at 08:40 AM
Glad you like it Kalinda. There were a few specimens at the market, but this caught my eyes immediately due to the uncanny resemblance to a swan. I then walked around the house looking for a nice backdrop to take a photo and I think those curtains worked nicely.
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 07, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Ma che bel cigno! L'arte della natura!
Buonissima anche la ricetta! :)
Posted by: Terry | October 09, 2014 at 01:35 AM
I love the word "zucchetta". Can't believe the shape it grown into, but I love it. Not sure if I would have cut it. So mesmerizing to look at. I love the photos in both color and BW.
Posted by: Paz | October 09, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Bello, vero, Terry? Impossibile resistere a tale fascino ;) E poi e' cosi' buona.
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 09, 2014 at 11:12 PM
Bellissima forma per una zucca, sembra un cigno!!! La natura è incredibile...un mio amico coltivatore bio ha trovato una patata a forma perfetta di paperella!!!
Simona tu vieni si a Bologna?
Posted by: lucia | October 10, 2014 at 01:09 AM
La natura e' davvero un'artista, Lucia e quindi non potevo lasciare indietro questo suo capolavoro, a parte che comunque la zucchetta mi piace molto e qui non e' molto diffusa. Spero che dato il mio entusiasmo la seminino anche il prossimo anno. Certo: ci vediamo presto :)
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 10, 2014 at 07:48 AM
I LOVE your swan squash! Oh so much! I need to see if I can get my hands on one. I wonder if they grow them here in Kansas...
Posted by: Lauren Hairston | October 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM
Thank you, Lauren. Let me know if you find them. It's an Italian heirloom variety that is becoming more widely known in the US, so seeds are available. I think that if farmers learn about it and that people are interested, they may try to grow it.
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 10, 2014 at 02:38 PM
Quasi un peccato mangiare tale bellezza! :-)
Thanks for participating, the gallery is on-line: http://cindystarblog.blogspot.it/2014/10/black-white-wednesday-146-gallery.html
Posted by: cinzia | October 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM
What a gorgeous squash!
Posted by: ATasteOfMadness | October 11, 2014 at 06:14 AM
In effetti, Cinzia, ma poi uno si consola presto ;) Grazie per la galleria.
Thank you Cathleen!
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 12, 2014 at 09:36 PM
It sounds nice, doesn't it, Paz? It's quite endearing. I know, the temptation is to keep it as is. I was told that one can dry it, but I guess I was greedy :) Glad you enjoyed the photos: it is definitely a photogenic vegetable and it was fun to portray it.
Posted by: Simona Carini | October 29, 2014 at 07:02 AM