Cucuzza Casserole

Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

1 cucuzza (about 2 pounds or 8 cups cubed)

1 pound Italian sausage

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1½ cups tomato sauce

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1. Heat oven to 420 F. Peel and remove the seeds from the squash. Cut into ½-inch cubes.

2. Brown sausage in a Dutch oven or heavy, deep skillet until done. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

3. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat.

4. Add the cubed squash and diced onion. Sauté over medium-high heat until squash is tender and onions are clear.

5. Stir in tomato sauce and browned Italian sausage.

6. Season with oregano and thyme. Stir in sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Stir in one cup mozzarella cheese until melted.

8. Grease an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish. Pour the sausage and squash mixture into the dish.

9. Top with remaining cheese.

10. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm.