Here is an uncomplicated recipe for when you crave a combination of salty, spicy, and a sweetness. The olives and capers add the salty flavour, and the sauteed carrots and balsamic add to the sweetness. And for that extra punch, the pepper flakes give it the spice you crave. Enjoy!
In a large cast iron dutch oven (or large pot), heat olive oil. Add the sliced onion and saute for a few minutes until softened a little.
To the pot, add the celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are softened.
Add add the rosemary, oregano, basil, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Stir for a minute. Then add the tomato paste and water. Cook over medium-low heat until just a simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Now add the tomato paste and water. Cook over medium-low heat until just a simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the olives, capers, and balsamic vinegar. Stir.
Add the zucchini at this point. I don't like over cooking the zucchini, as I enjoy the bright green colour, and slight bite to the vegetable. Cook for another 5 -10 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked but still retains a bright green colour.
Adjust seasonings--if you like more spice, add more chili pepper flakes.