I would love to take the credit, but…

Greetings everyone!

This is my Mom’s recipe, and it’s amazing.


Portobello cappelini Limone aglio con prezzemolo!

2 large portobello mushrooms quartered and sliced
2 shallots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and diced or crushed
1 sprig fresh basil chopped fine
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pine-nuts
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 pound cappelini pasta (cook as directed)
1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (remove the stems)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup white wine
course fresh ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt (to taste)
1/2 cup Shaved Parmesan, Romano & Asiago Blend (Trader Joe’s brand)
1/4 cup fresh finely-grated Romano cheese

In a large skillet, sauté the shallots, the mushrooms and the garlic in 1/4 cup of olive oil, until the shallots and mushrooms are wilted. Add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes. Next, add 1/2 of the chopped parsley, the chopped basil, the pine nuts, the fennel seed, the cayenne, and the salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the remaining oil the lemon juice and lemon zest, and remove from heat.

In a separate pan, boil the water for the cappelini, and cook as directed on the package. Remember, cappelini cooks very quickly, and the noodles are definitely better “al dente!”

In a large pasta bowl, put the cooked cappelini, and add the sauce/oil mixture, the remaining chopped parsley and add the Shaved Parmesan, Romano & Asiago Blend and the fresh finely-grated Romano.

Toss and serve with a green salad, and a fabulous white wine.

Your tummy will say, “Thank you.”

Buon appetito!


Quick and Easy Gnocchi with Sage & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is a great dish to make if you’re in a hurry, but want something that is savory and easy to make.  I decided to make this for lunch today, because I had a lot of racing around to do, and no real time to devote to more complicated meals.  Another great thing about this dish, is that it’s easy to make VEGAN.  When I say it is quick, I’m not kidding.  From start to finish, you can make this in just under 20 minutes!

So, what are we waiting for!  Let’s get started!


1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed

1 package fresh sage, stemmed and chopped fine (save 1 teaspoon for garnish)

2 sprinkles crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper, or to taste

Fresh grated parmesan cheese (omit for Vegan)

2 pounds gnocchi (for Vegan, purchase at health food stores), cooked according to package directions


In a pot, boil salted water for the gnocchi.  While the water is getting hot, grab an over-sized deep skillet and saute all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese in the butter or Earth Balance.  Cook for 5 minutes, turn off the burner, add the cooked gnocchi and stir.

Place the gnocchi in a pasta bowl, and garnish with fresh sage and parmesan cheese.

Today, I complimented this with a light VEGAN tomato-basil salad.  You take 3 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut them up and put them in a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 2 cloves crushed fresh garlic, black pepper and salt to taste, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  You can add fresh mozzarella balls if you like, but it’s not necessary.  Mix it up and serve.

There you have it!  A tasty lunch in under 20 minutes!  Actually, this is great for dinner too.  Serve with a nice white wine and perhaps some Italian green beans, and voila!

Buon Appetito!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See

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Labor Day Pesto Pizza

It’s hard to think about celebrating Labor Day or any holiday without food being a major contributor to the enjoyment.  This years Labor Day menu was extensive, but some of the highlights were:  Rigatoni with fresh tomatoes and basil, Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Bufala Mozzarella and Organic Coconut Cake and Espresso Cream Pie.

Everything was so good, but one of the most popular dishes, was my Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Bufala Mozzarella.  Making pizza can be so much fun!  Especially the eating part!  Since so many requested my recipe for Pesto Pizza, I’d like to share it with you!

Admittedly, pizza is obviously not something you want to eat on a regular basis, but on occasion, it is rewarding and fun.


Note: Trader Joe’s carries fresh pizza dough in their deli section that is pretty good, so there’s really no need to make  your own dough, unless you really want to.  Leave the dough out for about an hour or more before kneading it.


Place in Food Processor

1 container Trader Joe’s fresh basil (large bulk)  Save out 6 leaves

6 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bag  or 3/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch of black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

Blend together until fully pureed.  Set aside.


1 package Trader Joe’s plain pizza dough

1 carton fresh Bufala mozzarella cheese (2 large balls)

1 small log goat cheese

1 small container crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup romano or parmesan cheese

1 large, ripe heirloom tomato

6 thinly sliced mushrooms (optional)

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

pinch black pepper

Salt may not be necessary because of the pesto and the romano cheese


Take the dough, knead it and roll it out thin.  Either use a large pizza pan (with holes is the best), or a cookie sheet with rims.  Spray the bottom with olive oil spray, and place the dough on the pan, pinching up the edges.

Gently rub or drizzle olive oil on the dough. Take the pesto and put it on with a spatula, lightly covering the dough, and make sure it’s spread evenly.

Take the goat cheese log and bufala mozzarella and slice the cheeses medium thickness.  Evenly spread them around the pizza.

Take the tomato and THINLY slice it, spreading the slices evenly around the pizza.  Do the same with the mushrooms.

Sprinkle the goat cheese from the carton over the top, along with 1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese.  Sprinkle the seasonings and black pepper on top.  Chop the 6 basil leaves and even spread it around the pizza.

Bake in a hot 400-450 oven until the crust has browned and the top is sizzling.

Remove, cool 10 minutes and then cut into slices.  This pizza is terrific with a good white wine and a side of salad.

Buon Appetito!


Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See