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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Italian-Style Zucchini Recipe

Back in the day, when canned food used to be made from real food (non-gmo) without  tons of poison I cannot pronounce nor would even feed to someone I detested, I loved the canned zucchini in Italian sauce. My Mom swears my great-grandma used to make this, I do not remember her making this, just her wonderful berry cobblers.

Today, the now-crap-in-a-can, a tiny half-can at that!, runs about $6 for a taste of... ugh! (scrapping tongue) 😝 There is nothing worse than finding out a favorite food has been turned into an imitation of food.

I searched the web for a recipe, after noting the ingredients of this vegetable blend. One site had something close. I made a small batch. It was not quite right, but it gave me a start. The recipe below is my version. We think it is pretty good. We warm and put it on pasta, rice, or use as a side dish. I am sure we have not exhausted what I can put this on yet. 😁 I sometimes cook up some beef and add it for a variation. This recipe makes quite a bit, on purpose. I pressure-can this to have on hand when the mood strikes. This recipe can be cut in half if wished. I am posting as a pressure canning recipe. When made to use immediately, I add a little salt, and everyone salts to taste when dining. I am not a salt nazi, but I do not over-salt, either. I DO get only organic, and if in season, locally-grown ingredients, even the canned puree I use.

The batch below made 6 quarts and 7 -1-1/2 pint-sized jars. A little over 9 quarts. I do not know if it freezes well.

Italian-Style Zucchini

5 lbs. zucchini
2 (28 oz each) cans tomato puree
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
5lbs. tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp thyme (optional)
4 tsp mineral salt (for jarring)
1 small bunch celery, chopped small (optional)
     or powdered celery to taste
black pepper to taste

If canning, get all your gear ready to go, remembering to follow your pressure canner's instructions.

Wash and trim ends of zucchini. Cut into 1/2" chunks. Weigh and set aside. Do the same for the tomatoes.

Combine the puree, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, celery (if using), and all seasoning except the salt. Bring to a boil and add zucchini. Bring back to a boil. If not canning, turn down heat and gently simmer until zucchini is just-tender.

Put 1/2 tsp salt per quart jar, 1/4 tsp salt per pint jar. I use only 1/4 tsp in the 1-1/2 pint jars.

With a slotted spoon, pack jars 1/2 full. Top off with the sauce, leaving 1/2" head-space. Wipe rims, and put on lids and rings. I live at about the2200' elevation. I pressure-can at 15 lbs. pressure. Adjust to your elevation, per instructions from your pressure canner's manufacturer.

Pint jars - 25 minutes. 1-1/2 Pint jars and Quart jars - 40 minutes.