Marinated Butternut Squash,
Zucca Gialla di Chioggia Marinata
Venice's first regatta was held in 1464 as a tribute to Venetian noblewoman, Caterina Cornaro, on the day that she married Giacomo II, king of Cyprus. Giacomo died in 1473, leaving Caterina pregnant and her financial future in the hands of the Venetian Doge who-in an unprecedented act of nationalism-seized her inheritance and in exchange, offered her a small annuity and dominion over Asolo, thirty miles to the north. There she retired to live out her days, surrounded by a small but elegant court that included the Venetian painter, Pietro Bembo.
Serves 4 to 6
Time: 40 minutes plus 12 hours marinating time
Level of Difficulty: Easy
2 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds total),
peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large bunch fresh basil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Toss the squash with the oil and a pinch of salt and transfer to a baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the vinegar, onion, salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
4. Transfer the squash to a small glass or plastic terrine with a tight-fitting cover. Arrange the strips in layers, each layer topped with a few basil leaves and a drizzle of the vinegar mixture. Continue in this manner until all ingredients have been used. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.
Make Ahead: The entire dish can be made up to 2 months in advance and refrigerated in a sealed container.
How to Serve: As a side dish paired with roasted meats.
Wine Suggestion: Medium- or Full-bodied Red
*Chioggia is a small town south of Venice that has, today, become famous for its high-quality produce such as squash, beet, radicchio, and potatoes.
Italian Festival Food
Recipes and Traditions
From Italy's Regional Country Fairs
By Anne Bianchi
Macmillan USA, June 1999
336 pages, with 62 b/w photographs
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
Italian Festival Food
- Fresh Clams in Tomato-Parsley Broth
- Polenta with Skewered Meats
- Marinated Butternut Squash, Chioggia-style
- Open-faced Christmas Apple Pie
This page created December 1999