I created this Italian stew recipe one summer when I was looking for ways to cook fresh produce someone had given me. I experimented with spices and ingredients and finally settled on this version.
This version uses Hot and Sweet (mild) Italian Sausage. I personally think it gives the most robust flavor.
The recipe also works well with ground beef browned and drained. You also can use small cooked Italian Meat Balls (I always make my own, see my previous meatball recipe, just make the meatballs bite-size).
I have tried it with cooked chicken and wasn’t satisfied with the results. Since chicken is so bland, it really didn’t add flavor to the dish and to me, the dish lacked something.
The recipe calls for you to slice the cooked sausage, depending on how big the slices are, I sometimes half the slices for easier eating.
I use a healthy shot of red wine, between ½ cup and 1 cup, it brings out the flavor of the stew. I would recommend starting out with ½ cup and checking the flavor about half way through cooking and add additional wine to your taste. I usually use a full bodied red wine, like a Cabernet.
This is a great crock pot recipe. It’s best to cook it long and on low so the flavors can develop, in fact, it actually is best the next day.
I serve it with a crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine rounds out the meal.
Italian Stew Recipe:
All you need:
2 links Hot Italian Sausage, cooked and sliced
2 links Sweet (mild) Italian Sausage, cooked and sliced
2 cans (one 28 oz and one 14.5 oz) Del Monte Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
1 small zucchini, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 small yellow squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
2 large sweet onions, sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried Italian Seasonings
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 package fresh mushrooms, large ones quartered, smaller ones halved (we love mushrooms so I use a large package)
½ cup red wine
Cooked Rotini Pasta
Chopped fresh parsley
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
All you need to do:
Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT pasta, parsley and Parmesan Cheese, in a crock pot set on medium (or low if your pot doesn’t have a medium setting). Cook covered, stirring occasionally for 6 hours or until vegetables are soft and fully cooked.
In serving bowls, ladle stew over a small portion of cooked pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
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