• Zucchini cacciatore (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

Where traditionally made with rabbit or chicken (cacciatore means 'hunter' in Italian), this vegetarian version uses zucchini as the star. Butter beans bring protein, and kalamata olives bring a salty-sweet kick.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (125 votes)


  • 6 zucchini
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • ¼ small fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • pinch dried chili, optional
  • handful basil leaves
  • 60 g (⅓ cup) pitted kalamata olives
  • 125 ml (½ cup) white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 g cans cherry tomatoes
  • 400 g can butter beans, drained, rinsed well
  • handful flat leaf parsley leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 4 as a side. 

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthways, then cut each half in half again on an angle to give you shorter pieces.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and when hot, add the zucchini and season to taste. Cook the zucchini on their cut sides until golden, then remove and set aside, leaving any remaining oil in the pan.
  3. Add the remaining oil, onion, fennel, garlic, chilli, a few basil leaves and a good pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Add the olives and cook for another minute, then add the white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, butter beans and 250 ml (1 cup) water. Bring to a simmer, then gently stir in the zucchini, cover and simmer over low heat for 12 minutes or until soft but not falling apart.
  5. Uncover, adjust the seasoning if necessary, then simmer for another couple of minutes or until slightly thickened.
  6. To serve, coarsely chop parsley and the remaining basil and gently stir through the cacciatore. Transfer to a serving dish, add a good grind of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.