Marina Di Chioggia, 6 x 6 " oil on panel
I carried this twelve and a half pound squash up to my studio so I could paint it. Knobby with sugar warts all over, it was grown in the mountains of North Carolina. It can be grown here, too, so I am going to save some of the seeds to plant next spring. This is an heirloom variety, not a hybrid from a seed company.
Marina Di Chioggia originated in a little village near Venice on Italy's Adriatic coast. It is prized for its flavorful flesh and is sometimes used to make gnocchi, little dumplings that are also made with potato.
If you haven't tried this winter squash, you may be able to find one at your local Farmer's Market. It is easy to cook by roasting in the oven after cutting into wedges and laying cut side down on a baking sheet. Baking may take up to ninety minutes. Then you can scoop it off the skin and puree it to make soup or just eat like mashed potatoes. You can even try making some gnocchi.