I can never resist Marina di Chioggia, an Italian beauty. This heirloom, also known as Chioggia Sea Pumpkin, hails from an Adriatic port by the same name, thriving in the salt air and sandy soil found there.
This maxima squash starts out verdigris green, and has a distinctive turban shape. The white striping and lack of bumps on the bottom leads me to believe this one might not be true.
Opening up any maxima can be a daunting, but armed with a cleaver and a mallet, we’re up for the challenge.
A good keeper, the flavor improves with storage. The sweet dry flesh is known to be excellent for soups and pastas. We’ve heard that it’s sold as a street snack in Venice, grilled up as wedges.
Baked at 375°F for an hour, it yielded up its tender, smooth flesh to be turned into pumpkin soup, gnocchi and ravioli.