The Summer Season brings us many joys. Of those joys, the humble tomato is one of them. The tomato is a versatile fruit and can be found in many of our favorite foods and condiments. For this recipe, I was inspired by one of my favorite salads, the Caprese, which is just a simple combination of sliced, ripe tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, and pesto. I then baked that awesome combination in a French pastry dough that I infused with herbs and cheese. The combination of flavors is extravagant. I could eat this for any meal of the day. Besides being very flavorful and filling, it is also very light. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Wait time: 40 Minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour                                               


            For the galette

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

2 tbsps red wine vinegar

3 tbsps cold water

1 large tomato or 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into ¼ inch slices

1 cup of pesto (see ingredients and instructions below on preparing pesto)

1 16oz package of sliced mozzarella, or a 1 pound mozzarella ball sliced into ¼ inch slices

1 egg yolk

3 tbsp milk or heavy cream

1 cup grated parmesan or manchego cheese

            For the Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts, toasted

4 large cloves garlic

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


To make the pesto

  • Before working on the pesto, begin work on the galette pastry. See below
  • Add all the ingredients together into the food processor and process until it forms a smooth paste.

To make the galette

  • In a food processor, add the flour, herbs, salt, parmesan or manchego cheese, and butter, and pulse for 5 seconds to blend it
  • Mix the cold water and vinegar in a glass. Slowly add the water, little by little, and pulse until the pastry starts to come together. When you touch it, you should be able to press and mold it. It should have the texture of wet sand
  • Transfer it to your work surface and roll it into a ball and flatten it into a disc. Plastic wrap it and refrigerate it until it is chilled. While the dough is chilling, prepare the pesto
  • Once chilled, sprinkle some flour on your work surface and roll out the dough to a 14 inch oval. Make sure you work quickly so that the dough remains cool. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Spread and smooth out the pesto across the surface of the dough, leaving a little more than an inch for the crust
  • Layer the tomato and fresh mozzarella by placing alternate slices on the pesto. Drizzle more pesto on top
  • Fold the crust part of the dough up and over sort of forming a tucked wall. Mix the yolks and the milk or heavy cream to make an egg wash. Using a brush, spread the egg wash across the outside. Add in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about an hour or until the pastry has browned and crisp
  • Let cool before serving. Garnish with some more chopped, fresh basil
  • Enjoy!


Baked tortellini9

Baked tortellini10

What can be a more comforting meal than a big, saucy, CHEESY, plate of pasta. In this dish, I am showing you how to make a delicious tangy tomato sauce from scratch that will make any Italian nona proud. The dish is baked and the cheese becomes this beautiful, gooey, stringy companion to the sauce. This is a big hearty meal that should be enjoyed with a nap afterwards. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Bake Time: 35 Minutes

Serves: 4


1 package of tortellini

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 plump Roma or plum tomatoes, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of pesto

2 tablespoons of roasted red pepper paste

¼ cup of chopped parsley

1-pound ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼ thick or crumbled, based on your preference

½ cup grated parmesan cheese or pecorino romano


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook the tortellini to package instructions and strain. Set aside until it is time to bake
  • Time to make the sauce!
  • In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until it becomes fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes and continue to sauté until both the tomatoes and garlic soften

Baked tortellini

  • Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir
  • Add the salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and sugar and stir until they are blended into the sauce. Bring to boil, and then lower the heat to bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Add the pesto and roasted red pepper paste and stir until it is blended. Then add the parsley and stir one last time. Shut the heat off and set the sauce aside.

Baked tortellini2

  • In a baking pan or dish, cover the base with a thin layer of sauce. Add half the tortellini amount and cover with sauce. Sprinkle some of the grated parmesan or pecorino romano across the sauce covered tortellini. Evenly place mozzarella slices across the top of the tortellini. Cover with sauce again and sprinkle more of the grated cheese

  • Add the remaining tortellini and repeat the sauce and cheese cover process

Baked tortellini7

  • Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the cheese has become golden brown and the sauce is bubbling
  • Let it cool for 5 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy!

Baked tortellini11




lobster ravioli with butter sauce4

lobster ravioli with butter sauce9

I was definitely feeling fancy with this recipe. I love ravioli, so when I saw this lobster ravioli go on sale, I bought a few packs. I know I could have made my own, but sometimes, you want a quick fix and I was more focused on making the sauce than  I was in making ravioli. This brown butter cream sauce is excellent and can be used not only for ravioli, but with any time of pasta. The brown butter adds an earthier, nutty taste to the sauce that blends well with the acidity of the lemon juice. Additionally, you do not have to use lobster ravioli like I did, but any ravioli you like or even a different type of pasta like fettuccine. Try out and enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4 people


1 pack of lobster ravioli, or any ravioli you want

1 stick of butter

½ cup of dry white wine

½ cup of pasta water

¾ cups of heavy cream

4 tbsps of fresh lemon juice


Black pepper

Red chili flakes

1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Fresh parsley, chopped to be used for garnish


  • Cook ravioli to package instructions. Before straining, save ½ a cup of the pasta water. Set aside and make the cream sauce
  • In a large pan, add the butter and let it melt. Allow it to cook more after it melts so it browns. A nuttier, earthy scent will form and you will see the butter darken. Add a dash of the chili flakes so that the sauce absorbs the heat and spices. If you do not want a spicy flavor, forgo this step.
  • Add the wine and stir. Allow the wine to blend and cook out. Then add the heavy cream and parmesan and stir. Bring to a simmer then add the pasta water and lemon juice. Cook the sauce until it thickens. If you want a richer flavor, add more butter and cream little by little. If you want a tarter flavor slowly add more lemon juice and stir.
  • As the sauce thickens, sprinkle salt and pepper
  • Add the ravioli and stir it in. If any of the ravioli are stuck together, do not separate, that will happen once blended with the sauce

lobster ravioli with butter sauce

  • Allow the sauce to thicken and reduce. Taste for desired flavor and add any additional ingredient according to preference. Once it’s ready, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve

  • Enjoy!


mussels in white wine sauce3

mussels in white wine sauce6

I could eat mussels the same way I eat chicken wings, one by one and not feel full. It’s one of the few foods for which I become a bottomless pit. Especially add a nice garlicky, wine broth, and you are all set. For this recipe I decided to make it into a full meal. It may seem intimidating, but the truth is that this recipe contains fewer than 10 ingredients and takes fewer than 20 minutes to prepare. You will not believe how simple and tasty this elegant looking dish is. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


2 pounds of fresh mussels, cleaned and trimmed of any beards

One package of spaghetti

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 tbsps. of butter

5 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook spaghetti to box instructions. While spaghetti is cooking, prepare the mussels
  • In a large pot or wok, melt the butter over a medium-high heat until it begins to foam. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
  • Add white wine and the mussels and cover so that they steam. About 4 minutes in, uncover and stir and then cover again. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 4 or 5 minutes

mussels in white wine sauce

*nice and steamy*

  • Once the mussels have opened, add the pasta and the parsley and mix with tongs
  • Serve and enjoy!

mussels in white wine sauce10


spaghetti and meatballs2spaghetti and meatballs

A traditional meal that is enjoyable to not only eat, but to cook is Spaghetti and Meatballs. It is even better when you make the sauce and meatballs yourself. Making the meatballs from scratch will have you feeling like a little kid again taking part in arts and crafts; you mix all the ingredients together, and mold them into perfect round, meaty balls. This can be a fun activity you can do with anyone, or even by yourself with some music playing in the background and a full-bodied wine in a glass. It is not a time consuming recipe and you do not have to prep it all day like you thought you would have. In fact, it is quite simply and will have you comparing your meatballs and sauce to that of an Italian grandmother’s. Try yours today and see how tasty it is! Buon appetito!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour (20 minutes if using readymade sauce)

Serves 6


1-pound lean ground beef

1-pound ground pork

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs

¼ cup grated Romano cheese

½ cup of stale bread, crumbled

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 package of spaghetti or pasta of preference

Canola oil for frying

For the sauce (you can also use store bought if you like)

1 can of crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

¼ cup of finely chopped basil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon oregano

Kosher salt

Black pepper


  • In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, onion, garlic, bread, Romano cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, and the eggs. Add two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until it forms a consistency similar to molding clay. Shape the meatballs into the size you want. The larger the meatballs, the longer they take to cook. The size should be between a golf ball and baseball
  • spaghetti and meatballs3
  • In a large frying pan, add the canola oil and heat on a high flame. To check when it’s ready, sprinkle a little bit of flour in the oil. If it sizzles and melts away, the oil is ready
  • While the oil is heating up, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, drizzle olive oil and add the onions, cooking over a medium high heat. Once the onions have softened and become fragrant, add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and onions translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring to a simmer and cover stirring occasionally until it thickens. While the sauce is simmering, cook the meatballs
  • Add the ball carefully in, one at a time. Cook each side for about 5-7 minutes or until side begins to brown. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, flip the meatball over so the other side gets cooked. Remove, strain, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate
  • While the meatballs are straining in the plate and the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta
  • Add hot water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add salt and stir. Add the pasta and cook based on instructions on box
  • Once past has become al dente, strain.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir
  • Plate the pasta and add the meatballs and sauce on top
  • Add some grated cheese and garnish with some parsley
  • Enjoy!



Bolognese2 (2)

Bolognese (2)

Pasta Bolognese is a traditional Italian dish originating from Bologna. It is a robust meat sauce and the most commonly consumed of the pasta sauces. My recipe teaches you how to make a no-hassle sauce that is full of flavor that will make you lick the plate clean. After searing the meat on a high heat, it is stewed in the sauce over a low heat reducing it and leaving a tender, enjoyable ragu for your pasta. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Serves: 6


1 pound ground beef chuck

1 16oz container of crushed tomato sauce

2 small red onions, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large carrot finely chopped

5 large white mushrooms, sliced

2 cups red wine

5 sprigs of thyme

5 sweet basil leaves

½ nutmeg, grated

½ teaspoon of sugar

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Olive oil

Sea salt

Crushed red pepper flakes

Black pepper

Pasta of your choice, I used spaghetti (if you like to make your own pasta, you can find instructions on how to here)


  • In a pot, add a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the onions. Add a pinch of salt. Cook them until translucent over a medium heat
  • Add the ground beef and a few generous sprinklings of salt and pepper, and a pinch of the crushed red pepper flakes. Add the garlic to sauté with the meat. Increase the heat to high to brown the meat and get rid of any water and oil
  • When the liquids have reduced and the meat has browned, add the wine, mushrooms, thyme
  • Simmer over a medium-high heat until the wine almost completely reduces. Add the tomato sauce. Add the basil leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar and stir.
  • Bring to a simmer over a low heat and let reduce until sauce thickens. Add more salt or any of the other spices as needed or to preferred taste. While sauce is reducing, cook the pasta. Drain the pasta once cooked
  • Transfer the pasta into a large serving plate or small dining plate and top with the Bolognese. Top with some grated Pecorino Romano or a cheese of your choice
  • Enjoy!

Stuffed Shells


For some, stuffed shells are a comfort food. For others, part of a traditional Sunday Italian dinner. For me, they are an easy go-to meal option. The beauty of this dish is that it is super easy to make, does not require a lot of ingredients, and leaves your stomach full. If you are pressed for time, feel free to use ready made tomato sauce, but it will not taste as delicious as if you made it yourself, which really adds to the dish. You can also make it a meat or vegetable sauce should you feel bold in the kitchen. Besides, there aren’t that many things better than coming home to a large tray of stuffed shells.

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 4


1 Box of pasta shells

1 16 oz container of ricotta

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup of ground pecorino romano

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped

4 or 5 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped

5 leaves of basil, chopped

2 large eggs

1 ½ 16 oz cans of crushed tomatoes

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Crushed red pepper flakes

Black pepper

1 tablespoon of oregano


  • In a pot, bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Once water is boiled, add the pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain the shells and let them cool down
  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • In a medium sized saucepan, add two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the garlic over a medium-low heat until fragrant.
  • One the garlic is fragrant, add the mushrooms and another tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until mushrooms soften and begin to have some color on them
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, the oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of the crushed red pepper, and a pinch of the pecorino and stir. Cover the pot and bring to a boil
  • While sauce is cooking, in a metal bowl, add the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of the pecorino, the eggs, and the parsley and stir. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • Using a small spoon, stuff the shells with the ricotta mixture. About one spoonful should do it as you don’t want the filling to overflow
  • Once all the shells are done, create a base of sauce in the baking dish you are using. Once the bottom is covered in sauce, add the shells, filling side up, placing them closely one after the other. Cover the shells with the remainder of the sauce with the remaining mozzarella and pecorino cheeses
  • Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese begins to brown and become gooey
  • Remove from oven and let cool down before serving
  • Serve and enjoy!



Wild Boar Ragout with Pappardelle

wild boar 1

wild boar 2

For this recipe I decide to combine the French ragout with the Italian ragu. Although the popular known Italian ragu is a tomato based sauce, it varies from its French counterpart in that, the French version is stew-like rather than sauce-like. The inspiration for this came on a cold winter day and when it finally snowed, and I became snowed in, I decided to cook it. It is a very hearty dish that will have you licking your plate clean.

Cook Time: 2.5 Hours


1 lb. wild boar mini roast, cubed

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery, chopped

4 sprigs of fresh Thyme

2 sprigs fresh Rosemary

4 sprigs of fresh parsley

2 Bay leaves

Olive oil

Half a stick of butter

1 cup of red wine

1 ½ cups of beef stock

4 plum tomatoes, from a can

1 teaspoon tomato paste



Red pepper flakes




  • On a plate, season the wild boar with some salt and pepper and set aside
  • In a large Dutch oven, add 4 tablespoons of oil and melt the butter. Once butter is melted cook the garlic and onion until the onion becomes translucent
  • Then add the celery and carrots and cook until they start to soften over a medium heat
  • Add the wild boar and cook until it is no longer pink and it starts to brown, about ten minutes
  • Add salt, pepper, and two nice pinches of the crushed red pepper
  • As the wild boar is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Sprinkle a little flour so it absorbs some excess grease and then add the red wine and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and parsley. Bring to a simmer and let the wine reduce. About 10 minutes
  • Take the tomatoes and crush them with your hand over the Dutch oven so the juices get added. Then add the broth and the tomato paste, stir, and bring to a boil. Check the taste. If it is too acidic due to the tomatoes, add some sugar and a little amount of salt to taste to remove some of the acidity
  • While the sauce begins to reduce, transfer it into the oven
  • Leave it in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes. Check and see if it has reduced. If it as reduced too much, add a little water as you need to keep a sauce like consistency since the pasta will be added
  • Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and let it cook for another half hour
  • While the temperature is lowering, bring a pot of water to boil and add a few pinches of salt
  • Once the water has boiled, add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes
  • Drain the pasta and transfer into the Dutch oven
  • Mix the ragout and pasta
  • Transfer to a plate, add some shaved pecorino and enjoy