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Healthy Italian Cacuzza Stew Recipe (

Italian Cacuzza Stew Recipe. Cacuzza sautéed with garlic and onions and cooked down with crushed tomatoes and basil.

I am sure some of you are wondering, “What the heck is a cacuzza, or a gagootz?” Well, gagootz is the way my family, and a lot of Italian-American families pronounce the word cacuzza.

Now a cacuzza is an Italian squash (actually it is a gourd that has beautiful white flowers) that can grow as long as 6 feet, and probably even longer, but I have never seen one longer than 6 feet. The cacuzza is best picked around 3 feet long because it will be softer and sweeter, and resemble the flavor of a zucchini.

The cacuzza I use are grown in my garden. Growing and preparing this dish is something that has been passed down in my family. My Sicilian grandparents introduced me to cacuzza. I learned to grown cacuzza from my Nonno (grandpa), and I learned to cook cacuzza from my Mom, who learned from my Nonna (grandma).

Cacuzza is a vigorous vine and can grow over 10-15 feet. I plant my seeds a few weeks after my last frost, usually the middle of May and by the end of July I enjoy my first cacuzza. I grow the vines up a large trellis and let the cacuzza hang down. This picture gives you an idea how the cacuzza grows.

Growing and cooking cacuzza is something that has a very special place in my heart. I have very fond memories helping my Nonno in the garden and then taking pictures with the hanging gagootz. Now I am fortunate to be able to pass that tradition down to my children.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post, Italian Caccuza Stew Recipe. I know you might not be able to find a cacuzza (more on that below in the “Invent Your Recipe” section), but I appreciate you taking the time to read my story about gagootz.


  • 1 large cacuzza or 4 medium zucchini
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes crushed with hands 28 oz.
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preparing the Cacuzza:

  • Begin by peeling the skin off of the cacuzza and cutting into bit size pieces. In a bowl, add the whole tomatoes and crush with your hands.
  • Next, in a large pot, add the extra virgin olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  • Next, add the cacuzza, 1 tsp. of salt, and the ground black pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, mixing occasionally.

Bringing Everything Together:

  • Next, add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  • Next add the eggs and let cook for 1 minute without mixing. Then, mix the eggs in, bring back to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, mixing every few minutes.
  • At this point, taste the stew and if needed, add the additional 1 tsp. of salt and mix in. Finally, turn off the heat, add the basil, and mix well.

To Serve:

  • Serve this Italian cacuzza stew with crunchy Italian bread as the main entrée. Also, serve over your favorite pasta for an alternative option.


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