This recipe is the most delicious recipe for zucchini. Even people who hate zucchini love this. It is originally from my Italian mom who is deceased. But, luckily, she let me help her when she cooked dinner!
[b][u]Italian Style Zucchini & Vegetable Stew
4-5 medium green zucchini sliced in nice 1/2 inch thick rounds with the skin intact (make sure they are relatively thin–if they are too thick, the seeds will be big and tough)
1 Large onion
3 medium pieces of fresh garlic minced
2-3 Large green or red peppers cut up in pieces (about 1 inch by 1 inch)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks of celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
large button mushrooms cut up in quarters or portabello mushrooms chopped in pieces (do not rinse mushrooms–they will absorb moisture like sponges–merely wipe them off with a damp paper towel)
1 small pkg frozen Italian green beans chopped
2-14 oz cans whole tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 tbls basil (fresh is better! but add it at the end)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup of red wine (Italian red the best!)
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
a sprinkling of crushed red pepper if you are brave enough!
–In a large frying pan or dutch oven, fry the garlic, onions, green peppers, celery and carrots until soft (about 5-6 minutes)
–with your clean hand, take the whole tomatoes 1 or 2 at a time and crush them between your fingers into the pot. When all the tomatoes have been crushed into the pot, add the remaining juice, add oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaves
–let this simmer for about 1/2 hour
–add the zucchini, mushrooms and frozen Italian green bean. Stir well to integrate into the pot.
–add the crushed red pepper if you like it (do not use it if you don’t like hot food)
–bring up to a simmer again and cook for an additional 40 minutes; check to make sure the tomato sauce has not gotten too thick; add a little water or tomato juice, if needed
–add the Italian wine and fresh basil during the last 10 minutes.
–check the green peppers to see if they are cooked enough to your satisfaction, if not, cook 10 more minutes
Let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve in large pasta or soup bowls with torn off pieces of crusty Italian bread heated in the oven for a few minutes. BELLISIMO!!