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!


It’s about that time…

Spring is in the air, and summer is around the corner!  That means, it’s time to get the grill out!  I absolutely love grilled veggies.  If you’re looking for a great summer pasta, that is loaded with grilled vegetables, try this:  Gemelli & Grilled Vegetables with Pesto Sauce.

Gemelli is a single “s” shaped twisted pasta, derived from the Italian word for twins. It’s not difficult to find.  Barilla makes a nice Gemelli pasta.



So, let’s get cooking, shall we?

Gemelli & Grilled Vegetables with Pesto Sauce


2 large red and yellow bell peppers

12 stalks asparagus

1 med red onion, sliced

3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)

2 tablespoons pine nuts

6 ounces (2/14 cups) gemelli or rotini pasta

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh, grated Romano cheese

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

Here we go!

Get the grill fired up!  Cut the bell peppers in half; remove the seeds.  Place asparagus and onion on a large plate, and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Grill the peppers, skin side dow on a covered grill, over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the skins are blackened.  Place peppers in a plastic baggie or paper bag, and let stand for 15 minutes.  The skin should be soft enough to peel off.  Cut peppers into chunks and set aside.

Next, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and return to the pan.  While the pasta is cooking, grill the asparagus and onion on  the covered grill over medium heat for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until tender, turning as needed.  Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and cut the onion into small pieces.  Add the vegetables to the pasta.

Place the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor.  Process until coarsely chopped.  Add basil and process until finely chopped.  While the processor is running add remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the mixture is fully blended.  Stir in cheese, salt and pepper.  Add the basil mixture and tomatoes to the pasta and toss until the pasta is fully coated.  Serve immediately!

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: Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

TASTE…and See

Spaghetti with Red Onions?

Okay, okay… I know…red onions in spaghetti…it sounds weird, right?  Well, talk to the locals from Firenze (Florence) Italy.  This recipe is not uncommon.  I am not a big anchovy fan either, but sometimes it really enhances the taste of a dish, and it really adds to the flavor of this pasta.  Try it, you’ll like it!  🙂

Red Onion Spaghetti with Anchovy & Pecorino Cheeses


3/4 pound red onions, thinly sliced

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

Celtic Sea Salt (to taste)

1 pound spaghetti

1 cup Pecorino Romano Genuino cheese, finely grated

1 cup Pecorino Fiore Sardo cheese, finely grated (you will probably have to get this at a deli)

3/4 cup cold water

7 flat anchovy fillets

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper or crushed red pepper for a little extra kick


In a large skillet with lid, combine onions, 2/3 cup water, oil, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt; bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat, then cook until onions begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In the meantime, while the gravy is cooking, cook the spaghetti as directed–al dente is preferred.  In a separate bowl, mix the grated cheeses with the cold water and set it aside.
Next, add the anchovies to the simmering sauce. Cook, uncovered, stirring with a wooden spoon, until anchovies are dissolved (2-3 minutes).  Stir in the parsley and remove from 
heat. Cover sauce to keep warm.  Drain the pasta and then return it to the pot.  Add the sauce; cook over high heat, stirring, 2 minutes, then add cheese mixture, reduce heat to medium and, stirring constantly, cook 2 minutes more. Serve immediately, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper.  If you want to spice it up a bit, add crushed red pepper.
I enjoy serving this with a wonderful Caprese Salad, but it’s great with any green salad of your choosing.  Pair it with a good Chardonnay, and you’ve got quite a meal.
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

Delicious, quick and easy!

Sometimes cooking can be a real pain in the _ _ _ _ especially when you’re tired, or in a hurry.  This is a great little recipe for just those moments.  It’s fast, easy and seriously tasty!  Try it–you’ll like it!!!



3/4 pound penne pasta or small rigatoni

1 bag fresh, organic baby spinach

2 large, ripe tomatoes (diced)

3 cloves fresh garlic (crushed)

3/4 cup fresh shredded or shaved parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

course black pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large fresh-squeezed lemon

3 fresh basil leaves (minced)


In a stock pot boil water to cook the pasta.  Cook according to directions (al dente).

While the pasta is cooking, put the spinach, 2 cloves crushed garlic, the parmesan cheese, and the tomatoes in a large salad bowl.    Toss.

After the pasta has cooked, drain it and let cool for 10 minutes.  If you put the HOT pasta in the spinach salad, the spinach will wilt.  Once cooled add the pasta and toss. Set aside and whip up the dressing.


In a mixing bowl, place the olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic, juice from the lemon, basil, salt and pepper and whisk until fully mixed.  You may want to add more salt and pepper, but keep in mind parmesan cheese is salty, so be careful adding salt. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss.

Serve with a warm slice of sour dough french bread and a glass of Chardonnay and voila!  You’re tummy will be happy!

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

Black Olive Pesto Pasta… Delizioso

Given my mother’s Italian heritage, pasta has always been a favorite growing up, and it’s still something I commonly make.  Here’s a great vegetarian or vegan recipe for those who enjoy the taste of black olives.



1-2 red dried red chili peppers

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons white onions, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1- 9-ounce can pitted Gyeta or Kalamata olives

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 pound fettucini, linguini or spaghetti  (rice or quinoa options for gluten-free sensitivity)

Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste (I often use Trader Joe’s rainbow pepper)

Grated zest of 1 medium lemon

4 large scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

Fresh grated parmesan (for Vegan omit this)


Set a large pot of lightly salted water with oil on high heat until it comes to a boil.

In a food processor, fitted with a steel blade, finely mince the peppers, garlic and onion.  Add the olives, the parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, brine, vinegar and oil to the mixture; pulse three to four times to coarsely chop the olives.  Set aside.

Place the fettucine in the boiling water and cook according to package directions (I prefer my pasta al dente).  Completely drain the noodles into a colander.

In a large pasta bowl, toss the pesto sauce in with the cooked fettucine.  Top with course ground pepper, lemon zest, grated parmesan cheese and sliced scallions.

Bon 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