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Cuckoo for Googoots

Category: Recipe
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My nana and grandpa spoke imperfect Italian, and even worse Sicilian. They used a lot of slang for a lot of words. One of those, being “googoots,” (or “googauts”) for Cucuzza, …for zucchini. Cucuzza is a specific type of squash… (well, technically it’s a gourd,) which I’ve never had (unfortunately) and we always used it to mean zucchini, so, there ya go. It’s also used to insult people but we don’t have to do that now, do we? 🙂

I’ve been spoiled my whole life with fresh vegetables out of the garden. My grandparents could grow anything, and they did. Every time we left their house, we left with a bag of tomatoes, or a handful of green beans. My parents are the same way, they can grow anything. One year, my dad planted zucchini, and that was the summer my mom made my dad promise he’d never plant that much zucchini again. It was zucchini overload!

My ma would make a giant batch of this, and we’d eat it all week. It’s affordable, healthy, and hey, whatdoyaknow, it’s vegetarian! (Vegan even, if you leave out the cheese.) There’s nothing better than taking a big piece of warm, crusty Italian bread, and sopping up the sauce. So make sure you have a loaf, or two, or three, when serving this. Not filling enough? Ok, serve it over pasta. Ha! BRILLIANT! And the leftovers are awesome, it keeps for about four days, covered in the fridge.

  • 4-5 medium zucchini, washed and cut into little half moons
  • 2, 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium (or large) onion, sliced
  • 2-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced (the specific amount is up to you. I used 5.)
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of red pepper
  • 1/4 c basil, ripped (never, ever cut! always ripped.)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Heat olive oil in a pot, over low heat. Add zucchini, onions, and salt, and sweat the vegetables. This means keeping the heat low so we don’t brown any of the vegetables, we just heat it enough to let their natural juices come out.
  2. After onions turn translucent, add red pepper flake and garlic, cook on low for another two minutes.
  3. Add cans of tomatoes and basil, raise heat to medium/medium-low, and cook for 40-60 minutes. We’re looking for the zucchini to be tender. Stir occasionally, every 10 mins or so, making sure nothing is sticking and burning at the bottom of your pot!
  4. About five minutes before zucchini is done, add a pinch of sugar, and stir.
  5. Turn off the heat, and add the tbsp of butter. (Don’t tell my mom that I do this, ok? Butter just adds a velvety backdrop that wraps the whole thing up together, and I like using it. She, does not.) Top with Parmesan cheese, and dig in!

For the purpose of the photo, I was dainty with my use of Parmesan cheese. I was too ashamed to show you how much I REALLY use…

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6 Notes

  1. Carrie says:

    This looks so hearty and wonderful! I’m loving that deep red color.

    …I do the same thing with cheese – always a little bit for the photo, then a huge heap to eat 🙂

    • admin says:

      It really is great because you can eat a huge bowl of it and not feel guilty; after all, it’s just vegetables. Now the cheese… that’s a different story 🙂

  2. j posh says:

    making this tonight, looks like a winner!

  3. julianna says:

    parmesan isn’t a vegetarian cheese due to it being made with animal rennet; as a omnivore i don’t really mind, and will definitely be making this soon – but it’s something to bear in mind