Until the other day, I had never heard of a Zucchetta Rampicante or Tromboncino Zucchini. As soon as we saw this strange looking squash, we knew we had to give it a try!
Zucchini Rampicante-Veggie Cthulhu
We came upon them in the produce section. They were in a box and at first, we couldn’t quite figure out what we was seeing. It was a tangle of light green arms all nestled together in a knot. A voice in my head whispered, “It’s the Cthulhu of vegetables.”
They were simply marked as “Squash” but they were priced to move them quickly. I can’t resist the opportunity to learn something new and my honey was right there with me. We both love an adventure. So we brought one home.
My youngest took the first pictures of the bizarre looking vegetable, laying it in the grass. I didn’t realize quite how snake-like it looked until then.
What Do You Do With It?
I got online and read what I could about this squash. It has three names it is commonly known by – although there is nothing “common” about this vegetable at all. It is known as the Zucchini Rampicante, the Zucchetta Rampicante, and the Tromboncino Zucchini.
The large round part – the main body – is where the seeds are found.
The neck of the Zucchini Rampicante is seedless.
I read that it is very similar to Zucchini, but slightly more dense, with a nuttier flavor. A couple of people said that they like to treat the neck like zucchini – steaming it and roasting it. And they treat the main body more like an acorn squash, scooping out the seeds and stuffing it with delicious things.
Goof and I decided to give it a try. For this first experiment, we cut the body of the squash away from the neck, wrapped it, and put it in the refrigerator. We want to find a good stuffed squash recipe for it.
As soon as we cut the Zucchini Rampicante, we noticed the pronounced oozing near the skin. We also noticed how much the body resembled a football.
I read that the skin is slightly tougher than that of a zucchini, and that it is tougher with age. We decided to try cutting some up with the skin left on, and peeling the rest.
We just sliced up a small section with the skin left on. Maybe eight inches or so.
After putting the sliced (with skin) Zucchini Rampicante in a small roasting pan, I began peeling the rest.
I worked in sections and then sliced the peeled squash, putting it into a large roasting pan.
Cooking it Up
When I roast zucchini, I drizzle olive oil and then season with AT LEAST salt and pepper. Usually I use garlic, too, or Adobo Seasoning. But this time, we just gave the Zucchini Rampicante a spray of olive oil and left it at that. We wanted a chance to taste it without any additions.
We baked it at 350 degrees F for 10 minute increments until it was done to our liking – 30 minutes total.
It was very similar to Zucchini in some ways, but firmer, and yes, slightly nuttier in flavor. We both ate a big serving of it with butter and drizzled with a bit of soy sauce. It was quite tasty.
I don’t know that either of us were enamored enough to make a point of buying Zucchini Rampicante just for the sake of buying it. But it was fun to try and I am definitely happy to enjoy more of it if I find it on sale.
And of course, this is only the first part of our experiment. We will soon be cooking up the “football” portion of the Zucchetta Rampicante and we will be sure and share it with you!
Have you ever tried this squash? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!