Easy Italian Pasta Salad

It’s so sad Summer is almost coming to a close. I can’t believe we are already halfway through August. WOW! No clue where 2021 has gone. I figured I better share this recipe before the snow hits the ground so here goes! This easy Italian Pasta Salad is quick it make and is always a hit! It’s best to make this in advance so the flavors can marry!! Give this a try and you won’t regret it!

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1lb multi-color pasta, cooked
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 green pepper, diced
1 can black olives, cut in half
8 oz block mozzarella, diced (I usually add extra as cheese is the my favorite)
1-2 cups bottled Italian dressing
1/2 packet dried Italian dressing packet
salt/pepper to taste

Directions: In a large bowl mix cooked pasta with the dressing. dressing packet, olives and green peppers, refrigerate. Add in the tomatoes and cheese about 2 hours before serving. The longer this sits the more flavor it will have. This salad is easily customizable. Switch up the cheese for fresh mozzarella or you’re favorite kind. Add diced or sliced salami or pepperoni for an extra kick. Add onions, or red peppers for other veggies you may like. I made this for a family gathering at my brother’s house and he doesn’t like onions. I love them so this salad would be great with some red onions or green onions!

Note: You may need to adjust the seasoning and dressing once the salad sets and is refrigerated. Add more or less depending on taste.

Viral Baked Feta & Tomato Chicken Verison

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you missed me?? I’m so sorry I’ve been so MIA. My focus is on my new job and I’ve been beyond busy haven’t really spent to much time cooking up new recipes, unfortunately. I have made a few but not as many as I’d like.

I decided to give this viral baked feta and tomatoes recipe a try! I mean it’a all over, I had to! I’m watching the carbs so decided to do a chicken version of this viral recipe. O.M.G. It came out delicious. Full of flavor. You can easily do this with chicken breast which I’ll probably use next time. I made with chicken thighs.

You need to make sure to try this dish! It’s so yummy and you don’t even miss the pasta… well maybe a little.

Baked Feta & Tomato Chicken

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 8oz block feta cheese
3 garlic cloves minced or grated
1-1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
3 T extra virgin olive oil (Use the good stuff here)
1/2 T Italian seasoning
2 t pepper
2 T fresh basil

Directions: Preheat oven 400°. In a medium size baking dish add in the tomatoes. Make a whole in the middle and add in the block of feta cheese. Drizzle the extra virgin over the tomatoes and completely cover the top of the feta cheese. Season the tomatoes and feta with Italian seasoning and pepper and mix tomatoes to fully coat. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are blistered.

Remove pan from the oven and smash the feta cheese and mix in with the tomatoes. Add in the garlic and mix well. Spoon the feta mixture over the chicken thighs and return to the oven at 375°and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Internal temperature needs to reach 165°.

Remove chicken from oven let rest for a few minutes and then top with basil and serve. This dish would be great served with a vegetable side, over rice or mashed potatoes.


Lobster Linguine with Crostini

I know I’ve been MIA lately on posting new recipes. I’ve still been working on new recipes just need to get them written out. 2021 has started out great for a few reason but I got a promotion at work early February and I’ve been so busy. I love the new job, I’m really enjoying it a lot. I’m hoping this is just the start of great things to come in 2021, especially after the last year!

Enough about that. Cooking is still my passion. I have so many great recipes to share. Stay tuned for me.

Let’s start out with this one that I’m really excited about. Lobster Linguine! Buttery, rich, and perfect for your next date night!

Lobster Linguine

Ingredients:
4 lobster tails, meat removed (cut into bite size pieces) (reserve shells, no small pieces)
6 T salted butter
1 cup white wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 T extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
1 T parsley, finely chopped
1/2 t xantham gum
6 oz linguine, cooked a dente
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a medium sauté pan on high heat with olive oil. Add in reserved lobster shells. No small pieces. Cook until the shells turn red.

Remove shells and discard. Add in onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes. Next add in the butter and let it melt then add in the wine.


Reduce the heat to low and add in the lobster meat. Let the lobster cook through till white and red in color. Around 4-6 minutes stirring often.

Add in the parsley and xantham gum and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the cooked linguine and gently toss together. Add in the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with crostini.

Air Fryer Crostini

Ingridents:
1 small baguette
1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T melted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t fresh parsley, chopped
sprinkle salt & pepper

Directions: Cut the baguette on the bias and set aside. Mix the rest of the ingridents together and brush the baguette with the butter mixture. Add to air fryer rack and cook at 400, for 3-5 minutes. Remove and set asside till ready to use. Note: The crostini will crisp up more once recmoved from the oven.

Shrimp with Garlic Alfredo pasta

As you know, I love my quick meals. This meal is nice an filling and very simple to make. This is a quick homemade alfredo sauce. If you don’t have the ingredients to make it fresh, you can use a jarred sauce. I know that’s completely frowned upon in the foodie community, but life gets in the way sometimes and you need a quick meal that taste delicious. Just do what’s best for you. This recipe is just, cook the pasta, cook the shrimp and make the alfredo and done! Can’t get much easier. I totally forgot to take pictures along the way of every step. I remembered to take a few though! Sorry! 🙂 Take a look!

Shrimp with Garlic Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients:
1lb pasta (I used Rigatoni)
1lb shrimp, cleaned & devined
1 T olive oil
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder

Alfredo Sauce:
1 t olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan/Romano finely grated cheese
1 stick, butter
1 T flour
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Optional toppings:
shaved Parmesan
crushed red pepper flakes
chopped parsley

Directions: Cook pasta according to package. Don’t forget to salt the water! Drain and set aside.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat. Season the shrimp with chili powder, onion & garlic powder. Add oil to the pan and let heat 1-2 minutes. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want a nice golden crust on the shrimp. When cooked the shrimp should be pink and white in color. Remove shrimp, cover and set aside when done.

Lower the heat to medium high. In that same pan add in 1 t olive oil and scrap the pan to get all the flavor up. Add in the garlic and let saute about 1-2 minutes, mix often. Do not overcook the garlic. Next add in the butter and let melt completely, mixing often. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and mix well and let cook 2-3 minutes. Next add in the cream and whisk until smooth. Let the sauce simmer 3-4 minutes, until it thickens. Add in the cheese, salt and pepper to taste and mix until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Add in the chopped parsley and mix. (Note: taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.)

Add the pasta into the pan and stir until the pasta is fully coated with the sauce. Add to serving bowls and top with shaved parm, crushed red pepper and chopped parsley (if desired) Serve with garlic bread. Eat immediately.

Note: For a lighter version you can use half heavy cream and half 2% milk, or you can use all milk. This Alfredo recipe is great on it’s own with pasta. You can also adjust the protein to your preference. I used a rigatoni but you can use any pasta you’d like. You can omit the flour if desired. Once you add the cheese the sauce thickens pretty well on it’s own.


Zucchini & Onion Linguine with Olive Oil

I love making a new dish and especially when you make it and you are SO happy with the outcome.  I love sauteing zucchini and onion with a little olive oil.  That’s where this pasta dish comes in. I just turned it into a deliciously light meal.  Perfect vegetarians meal or those meatless Mondays! Give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

Zucchini & Onion Linguine with Olive Oil

Ingredients:

1 lb linguine
3 medium zucchinis, cut in half moons
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T butter
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t oregano
2 t parsley
1 t crushed red pepper, optional
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese

Directions:  Cook pasta according to the package.  Set aside once done with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Add in 1 T of oil and let heat.  Next add in the garlic and onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn. Next add in the zucchini and let cook.  You will want to cook about 10-12 minutes over medium heat.  Stir often.  You want the zucchini to be very tender.

Season the zucchini mixture with garlic and onion powder.  Add in the pasta and season with oregano, parsley and crushed red pepper (if using.) Mix in the olive oil and butter. Let butter fully melt, completely tossing.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese and serve!

Note: You can omit the butter, it just give it a nice smooth finish.  I prefer the zucchini to be super tender. If you want it to have a bit just cook less time.  Cooking time will depend on the heat and size of the zucchini.  You can use fresh or dried herbs. I made this last minute so I used dried, since that’s what I had on hand. Also, I know I added garlic and onion powder as well as fresh garlic and onion….I always use that! 🙂
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Spinach & Mushroom Pizza

I love making homemade pizzas. I personally just buy the pizza dough from a local Italian shop and it cuts the prep time in half. I made this pizza and the dough wasn’t cooperating, so the crust totally came out wonky. I still had to share because the flavors were awesome. This is also my first time making a video while cooking. It’s new to me, so I’m learning as I go! 🙂

Spinach & Mushroom Pizza

Ingredients:
1 fresh pizza dough
8 oz sliced mushrooms, sauteed to remove moisture
10 oz fresh spinach
1 cup Italian shredded cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
1 T grated Romano cheese
1 T + 2t olive oil
1/2 T Italian Seasoning
2 t garlic salt

Directions: Preheat oven 425°. Roll out pizza dough to your desired thickness. Use spray oil on a large cookie sheet and add the dough. Pierce the dough all over with a fork. Par bake the crust for about 8 minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven and assemble the pizza. Drizzle 1 T oil over the crust and use a brush to completely cover the crust. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the crust. Next layer with spinach and then top with mushrooms. Next add the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle the Romano and Italian seasoning over the top. Lightly drizzle oil on top and bake in the oven for another 10-12 minutes depending on how crisp you like your pizza and how thick your dough is.

Once pizza is done remove from oven and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cut and serve.