Every once in a while I manage to mix a few ingredients together that actually work. This one I came up with in college, shortly after becoming a vegetarian while on a momentary vegan kick. I wanted something simple that included veggies and protein. Plus it’s a really great way to use up all that extra zucchini that seems to be turning up everywhere these days. So here you go:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Italian seasoning to taste (I usually use about 1.5 teaspoons)
1-2 cloves of garlic – diced
3 small zucchini – sliced into thin coins (best fresh out of the garden)
1 can Cannellini beans
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add Italian seasoning. Saute until aromatic. Add garlic. Saute until almost brown. Add zucchini coins (cut in half if too big). Brown and cook until slightly translucent.
Meanwhile, empty beans into a bowl and smash with a potato masher until all skins are broken. Add to pan with salt and stir over medium heat until they form a creamy sauce.
Serve hot over pasta some sort of sturdy pasta (I use gluten-free spirals or bowties).
If your family loves Italian food, why not plant a pizza garden? It’s simple, inexpensive and will help you add fresh Italian flair to any meal.
For my container pizza garden I chose:
- 1 Super Italian Paste tomato
- 1 Green Bush zucchini (mine came with three seedlings in one pot, and since there wasn’t room for all of them I shared the rest with friends)
- 1 Italian oregano
- 1 Genovese basil
- 1 Italian Pesto basil (Growing Tip:f you’re new to growing a certain type of plant or haven’t had much luck with it in the past, selecting different varieties can improve your chances of success and help you learn which perform best in your area)
- 3 trailing rosemary (Money Saving Tip: Be sure to check the groundcover section of your nursery–you can get more plants for less money and the smaller individual size makes them easier to work with, I plan to plant the other 3 from the six pack I bought in the pot that holds my Eureka lemon tree)
- A large pot and potting soil or clear planting area in your garden that receives at least six full hours of sun per day
- One tomato cage per tomato plant
- A variety of Italian vegetable and herb plants
To plant your pizza garden:
- Clear your planting bed of any rocks and weeds (find container planting instructions and tips here)
- Leaving your plants in their pots, arrange them on the soil to decide where each plant will go–put the tallest plants in the back so they don’t block the sun from reaching the smaller plants
- Dig a hole for each plant slightly wider and deeper than its current pot
- Plant each plant
- Water thouroughly
Be sure to water regularly throughout the season and by late summer, you should have all the makings of the perfect Italian feast.