We grow specialty crops. In doing this, we often bring items to market that… well are unfamiliar to folks. Not surprisingly, we have heard a time or two “What is that? Is it a gourd?” So to help familiarize, we feel that a introduction is needed.
Here is the lovely specialty crop called Marina Di Chioggia. It’s a specialty pumpkin, also called the sea pumpkin, that can be used to make Gnocchi which is an traditional Italian pasta. To demonstrate its versatility, we used it for a cooked squash side-dish. To do this, remove a thick slice from the uncooked Marina Di Chioggia. It has a tough, hard skin, so use caution when cutting through it with a knife. Then, we used a smaller peeling knife to cut away the seed-filled center from the slice. Next, cut the slice into a few large pieces and peel away the green outer skin. Cut the large peeled pieces into smaller pieces and place into a frying pan with a little olive oil. Saute a few minutes at low heat, while flipping with the spatula turner, until squash is soft but not mushy. Remove from heat. Put on plate, mash, add some butter and enjoy. Tastes just like sweet potatoes.
Some additional data: This medium sized pumpkin, about 6 pounds, at the market would be offered for about 5 dollars. It will yield about 5 servings, thus offering a delicious side-dish at about $1 per serving. It took me about 10 minutes to prepare. The unused portion went into the refrigerator and will last for a week or more. Uncut pumpkins will last for a few months in a pantry environment. All and all, the Marina Di Chioggia proves to be a very versatile offering.