For me, that love for cooking did not come as a child. Being from an Italian family that was always cooking up something, I just took advantage of the fact that I had great food to eat! However, when I was a teenager and getting ready to head off to college, I started spending more time in the kitchen with my Nonna (grandmother). I became fascinated with how she never measured anything and just threw ingredients into a pot and somehow produced a mouth-watering dish! From watching her, I knew I wanted to encompass her passion and carry-on the dishes that she made oh so well!
A few years ago, when my grandmother asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I responded with "your recipes." And so began the trial and error of my grandmother and I writing down all of her recipes and quantifying ingredients so that I could share those delicious dishes with others, without causing anxiety by saying "oh, just toss in a little salt here, a sprinkle of parsley there.." and so forth!
-2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
-2 cups sugar
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-Pinch of salt
-1 cup oil
-2 cups of cooked, pureed zucchini (about 2-3 medium-sized zucchini - can leave skin on)
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 cup of walnuts or raisins (optional - I omit this myself)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To prepare the zucchini, cut up the zucchini in chunks or slices to help them cook faster. Place them in a pot of water and bring to a boil. You can also put them in a bowl and steam them in the microwave to soften them up.
Once softened, transfer the zucchini to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the oil, eggs, vanilla, nuts or raisins if using. Add the pureed zucchini and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Pour the batter into a bundt pan or loaf pan. The batter makes enough for one large loaf (9x5 or 8x4) and a little extra for two smaller loaf pans (this is what I did since I love using my mini loaf pans - they're cute)!
Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes before turning out of pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Slice up the warm bread and devour! The great thing about this bread, aside from its delicious taste, is that you can eat it for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert! However you eat it, enjoy!