Summertime Pasta


This really should be called, “Cherry Tomato Broccoli Pesto Pasta.” But that’s a mouthful! This pasta reminds me of everything I love about summer. It is fresh. It is quick. It is easy. There is not any meat in the dish, but you do not miss it. My family loves this.

I recently indulged in a similar pasta dish at a local Italian restaurant. I wanted to try to recreate it at home. I searched for a recipe, but the closest I could find was this yummy one. The following recipe is loosely adapted from that one.



1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine (I always use Riesling and it is fine. Any white non-bubbly wine will do)
1 clove of crushed garlic (or a handy dandy frozen cube)
6 oz. refrigerated pesto (pick your favorite. A bad pesto will ruin this dish)
1 12 oz. package fresh linguine (if you cannot find this a regular package of dried linguine is fine)
2 pint size containers of cherry tomatoes
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 head of brocolli chopped (or one small steamable all ready chopped package)
5 small slices fresh mozarella (cut again into thirds)


First things first. Chop your broccoli heads up into large bite sized pieces and place into a large sealable gallon sized plastic bag. Or you could simply buy a small package of steam-able brocolli. I normally do that, but this time, my store was out. Seal the chopped broccoli crowns, place them in the bag and set aside.

Boil water in a large pot.

Chop three-quarters of your cherry tomatoes into half. Also cut mozzarella slices into bite sized pieces and set mozzarella pieces aside.


In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add halved cherry tomatoes and remaining whole tomatoes into the skillet. Add salt and red pepper flakes. Let simmer twelve minutes. Stir occassionally.


In the meantime, boil noodles according to the directions on the package. I prefer to use fresh pasta found in the refrigerated section. It cooks faster and generally just tastes better. But you can use boxed pasta, just be aware of the time difference. Before draining pasta, carefully reserve a cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return the drained pasta to the pot it boiled in (with no water in it).

Pierce broccoli bag with fork two times. Microwave the bag for three and a half minutes on high.


After the tomatoes have simmered for twelve minutes, add wine and let simmer for two more minutes.


Add a little of the pasta water (about 1/4 cup) and broccoli. Mix.


Add pesto to the drained noodles. Add enough pasta water to make it easier to stir (about 1/4 cup. Do not add all of your reserved pasta water).


Add pesto noodles to the cherry tomato/broccoli mixture. Stir. Before plating add mozzarella to the pan and quickly mix. You do not want your mozzarella to melt too much.


Plate. And eat up! If you have picky kids, and they are old enough, I recommend letting them carefully cut the tomatoes and mozzarella when you are preparing this dish. It will make them feel like they made the dish and they will be more inclined to eat it. Both of my kids always have seconds. ; )

Enjoy! We will be eating this yummy pasta all summer! It just tastes fresh and happy!

P.S. Please do not forget to enter the Blog Giveaway. It ends on the 15th! Thank you!

This post was edited using the fun Afterlight app. It makes the colors richer in the photos.

Meatball Sliders


The situation is: I hate meatballs. Or at least I thought I hated meatballs. The very name grosses me out. I do not like how dry they can be. How very meaty they can taste. They sometimes can feel like an obstacle on your plate.

However, my husband loves meatball sandwiches. And I love my husband. I decided to branch out. I decided to have a “ball.” Turns out, I do not hate meatballs. I just never had one I really liked. Until now.

Of course, I still hate the name. But that is for another day. Here is how I made my meatball sliders.:

This recipe makes 8 sliders. This is perfect for my family of four. However, I would double this for any larger crowd.



Meatball Ingredients

1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dried unseasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup diced Onions
2 Tbsp. butter
Pinch chili flakes
2 Tablespoons of Dalmatia My Mom’s Red Pepper Spread (I found mine at Vons in the refrigerated section. I know Amazon also carries it if you absolutely cannot find it, but the shipping price is crazy)
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 clove or 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic (I use the pre-chopped kind)
1/4 tsp. dried italian herbs

Other ingredients:
1 jar pasta sauce
8 oz. mozzarella
8 Small rolls or buns

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Pour pasta sauce into small saucepan. Simmer on low heat, while you move onto the next step.


Sauté onions for eight minutes in butter on medium-low heat until soft. Stirring occasionally. During the last minute, add minced garlic and then turn off burner. Put in mixing bowl. Allow to cool for five minutes.



Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. And, yes, say it with me, “Ewww!” Remember to take off any rings.


Scoop meatballs onto parchment lined baking sheet with ice cream scoop or one of these handy dandy large cookie scoops.


Line ’em up.


Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. They should no longer be pink inside.

Set meatballs aside.

Turn oven to broil.

Open rolls. Lightly butter each side. On a separate baking sheet, line them up. Mine took two batches.

Broil for 30 seconds to one minute until lightly toasted.


Remove from oven. Place the tops of the rolls aside.

Turn pasta sauce burner off.



With the other bottom half: Take a meatball. Smoosh it with your tongs. That’s right. Get all up in there. Remember how messy it made your hands and give it heck. Place it on a roll. Cover it with pasta sauce. Cover it with cheese. Repeat.


Place in oven and broil for approximately thirty seconds to one minute until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown. Watch this! It can get burned very quickly!


Remove from oven. Turn oven off. Cover meatball creation with the other half of the bun. Plate it. Now, this is the part where you serve it with salad and feel better about the meal you are about to eat. Except, I had no salad. So, I served it with chips (um, potatoes) and melon slices.


And oh my goodness! These are one of my new favorite things to make! Easy! Delicious! My husband said they were the best meatball sandwich he has ever had. I love when that happens!


Chicken Enchilada Pasta


This recipe was another recipe I got from Pinterest. I have made it four times. It is a family favorite. I love to share recipes I have tried with you guys that I think are delicious. This recipe originated from the blog, “Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour.” What a cool name! The only thing I changed in her recipe, was I topped the adult bowls of pasta with chopped cilantro. Otherwise, simply click on the link above. You will not be disappointed. She came up with an amazing dish!


The best part, besides the incredible taste of this dish, is it only takes about thirty minutes start to finish to prepare. I use rotisserie chicken (so simple). That is my kind of dish!

Here are the following pictures of the quick process:


I used way too much olive oil! Use less than me!







Please let me know if you make this! Do you have any recipes from Pinterest that I must try out? Please share!

I shared this on Savvy Southern Style

And My Romantic Home

Pasta Alla Vodka

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” – Willy Wonka said it best!

Pasta, check. Cream, check. Alcohol, check. Sounds great to me!

I used the following recipe from Pioneer Woman to make this dish.

My dear friend had given me a giant bottle of vodka for Fourth of July last year (thank you Jessica!). She knows the quickest way to my heart. I wanted to use some of it in an unconventional way, and came across this pasta recipe. It was fantastic. I just did the following things differently than the original recipe:

I sautéed my onions for 6 minutes instead of 2. I added the garlic during the final minute. I have to have my onions thoroughly cooked. I’m weird that way.

I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoon.

I added diced rotisserie chicken.

I used frozen diced onions and minced garlic from a jar. Why do things yourself when someone else can do it for you?

This took me less than 25 minutes to make, start to finish.




Oh my! Look at the vodka simmering. Isn’t she pretty?



Lovely fattening cream. I adore you. Why must you create ripples on my thighs like you do in this sauce? I won’t take it personally.


I only had this parmesan on hand. It worked just fine!



This was so easy and delicious. Everyone, but myself, had giant second helpings. Unfortunately, self restraint must be made when a recipe swims in cream and butter. Everything in moderation! Enjoy!

Total cost for dinner: $10.89

Pasta $1
Rotisserie chicken $5
Parmesan $1
Cream $1.42
Vodka $0 (thanks again! I owe you! : ) )
French bread $1
Butter .57
Tomato puree .90

Thank you Pioneer Woman for another wonderful recipe to add to my rotation!

Please let me know if you try this!