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Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

One of my favorite simple summer pasta dishes- pasta con salsa fresca. We have it for lunch weekly at the beach house in Italy. The sauce takes minutes to prepare and we let it sit and marinade while we are at the beach then toss it with hot pasta when we come home. I am laughing while I eat. I love it. I love the pasta and I love this moment. This describes the many moments at our family table in Italy- years and years on repeat. We eat. We discuss. We share. We yell (it’s the Italian way of “talking” when passionate- it took my husband years to understand this). We eat. We laugh. We love. That’s it. Mangia. Mangia. Life is short and we only have so much we can eat every day. Make it worth your time ️.

Made with Amore,





2 pints (560 grams) cherry tomatoes, diced

2 cloves garlic, slivered

1/4 cup fresh basil, torn by hand

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1 package (454 grams) good quality pasta


Salt for cooking pasta


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large serving bowl

  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on counter at lest 30 minutes before tossing with pasta

  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil

  4. Salt pasta water generously (about 10 grams of salt per liter of water)

  5. Cook pasta according to package until 'al dente'

  6. Drain pasta and toss with fresh tomato sauce

Enjoy warm or cold!

Sweetly Strawberry Shortcake

Sweetly Strawberry Shortcake

It’s berry season! This time of year I love berries best when they are served fresh as they are supremely sweet. This is by far the best biscuit recipe I’ve ever made. It is the perfect vehicle for fresh strawberries ( or any other berry) topped with mounds of freshly whipped cream. This biscuit recipe feeds a crowd, but you can freeze them for a couple of weeks so you always have some on hand. These biscuits are excellent savory with sausage and gravy too! Always serve biscuits fresh out of the oven and share with friends and family.
Made with Amore,

The. Best. Biscuits.

Adapted: Joanna Gains Magnolia Table
  • 4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for the work surface (if you don’t have self rising flour look up how to make it with what you already have in your pantry)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) good quality butter, cold (freeze for 15 minutes), cut into 1/2-inch pieces or grated (I prefer grating with cheese grater)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, plus 1 large egg for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or as needed, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing (if you don’t have buttermilk look up how to make your own using milk)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter (either grated or cut) and use a pastry blender (or a fork) to cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are even and about the size of peas. DO NOT over mix. You want to see chunks of butter for it to become flaky after baking.
  2. Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk until the dough comes together into a sticky mass. If it is too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until it reaches the correct consistency. Don’t over mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Use your floured hands to press it into a round roughly 14 inches across and about 1/2-inch thick.
  5. Use a floured 2 3/4-inch round cutter (or an upside down cup- round shape) to cut out about 20 biscuits. If necessary, collect and pat out the scraps to cut more biscuits.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them so that they all are touching.
  7. In a small dish, beat together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Brush the mixture on the top of the biscuits.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  9. Biscuits are best the day they are made (and ideally fresh out of the oven!). Serve with strawberry jam or gravy, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
NOTE: For longer storage, arrange the biscuits about 1/2-inch apart on two parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. There is no need to thaw them before baking.

Strawberries and Whipped Cream


  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sugar (add more if you like sweeter)
  • 8 biscuits
  • Freshly Whipped heavy cream
  • 8 small mint sprigs, for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar. Set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  2. Split the biscuits in half. Arrange the bottom halves on each of 8 plates.
  3. Layer whipped cream and strawberries on each biscuit. Place the remaining biscuit halves on top. Garnish with mint and serve.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Warm and comforting just in time for the cooler weather! These stuffed peppers are a one stop meal with veggies, meat, and rice (feel free to leave out meat for vegetarian).
Made with Amore,
• 4 bell peppers (I prefer a mix of colors or just red)
• 1 pound ground beef (use 90% lean, or ground turkey)
• 1 onion (yellow or red)
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 quart marinara sauce (homemade or your favorite store brand)
• 1 cup cooked long-grain rice (or use brown rice or quinoa)
• 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 8 fresh basil leaves
1 Fill a 6-quart pot 2/3 full with hot water. Place over high heat on the stove and cover.
2 Rinse your peppers and pat them dry. Cut out the stems and slice each pepper in half. Scrape out the seeds and membranes and discard them.
3. When your water is boiling, carefully place the pepper halves in the pot. Boil the peppers for three minutes.
4. Carefully drain the peppers in a colander in the sink. Use tongs to turn the peppers so the cut sides face down, allowing the water to drain out of them. Let them sit in the colander as you make your meat filling.
5. Peel your onion and chop it. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grate your Pecorino and shred your mozzarella, if needed.
6. Add your ground beef to a 12-inch skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon. After a minute, stir in the chopped onions, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and the onions are tender. If your meat is lean enough (90%) you shouldn't have to drain any fat. If you have lots of liquid, drain most of it.
7. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce to the meat mixture. Stir in the rice (if it was frozen, thaw it in the microwave first.) Add the Pecorino Romano and stir to combine. Cook the mixture for a couple minutes, or until it's heated through.
8. Prepare a half sheet pan or a 10x15 baking pan for the peppers. If using a sheet pan, line it with foil and grease it with cooking spray. If using a 10x15 pan, just grease it with spray.
9. Add your drained pepper halves to your baking pan, cut side up. Scoop about three tablespoons of the meat filling into each pepper half. Add more meat as needed, until each pepper half is filled to the surface. Scatter any extra meat filling around the peppers in your pan.
10. Sprinkle each pepper half with two tablespoons of shredded mozzarella. Gently pat the cheese onto the peppers.
11. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Then, broil the peppers for two minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.
12. While the peppers are baking, gently rinse your basil leaves and pat them dry. Stack a few leaves, roll them up, and slice them into ribbons. When the stuffed peppers are done, sprinkle the basil on top and serve with extra marinara sauce.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to four days!
*Recipe Adapted from Mama C.