Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

This pasta dish is too good to be true.  It’s my kind of pasta dish because of the veggies.  My family enjoys it because of the sausage!


  • 2 boxes of orecchiette pasta
  • 1 package of Italian sausage out of the casing(I used mild but you can use spicy or sweet if you like)
  • 2 green onions(I used leeks because I had them in my garden)
  • 4 coves of garlic sliced
  • 2- 8 ounce packages of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano grated cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until it is brown.
  3. Add the green onions and cook for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and mushrooms.  Season  with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes.  Set to the side.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  7. Add the pasta and cook according to package.  Drain and reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
  8. Put the cooked pasta back in the large pot.
  9. Bring the skillet back to the heat and add the tomatoes.
  10. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Add the chicken broth and cook for 1 more minute.
  12. Dump the sausage mixture right into the pot with the cooked pasta.
  13. Stir in the grated cheese and some pasta water if needed.
  14. Serve in individual bowls and top with some more grated cheese.



Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

This is another easy dinner!  You can use Mita’s Slow Cooker Chicken recipe for this…

If you want you can use your favorite jarred salsa or Mita’s Salsa Recipe

Then simply layer from the bottom to the top

  • Tostada


  • 2 cans of refried beans heated(I used refried black beans)


  • Pulled Chicken
  • Salsa
  • Mexican Cheese(I use Mexican Crumbling Cheese and break it apart)



I found some great accessories that are a must for your next Mexican meal!





A trip to the Pork Store

A Trip to the Pork Store

by Alexandra Salvatore

I love getting an early start on a Sunday and being the first customer at the Italian Pork Store. We got up early today and I brought my 2.5 year old son with me to experience what I grew up doing with my Mom. To my surprise they actually renovated and expanded the pork store Delfiore in Patchogue.

While I was there, I picked up a brick oven Italian bread, fresh warm mozzarella, hot dried sausage(sliced thin), 2 boxes of fresh ravioli, 1/4 lb of Genoa salami sliced thin, some of their marinated roasted red peppers and some fried eggplant and fried chicken cutlets for my son Joseph to snack on today and tomorrow.  I was also craving something green so I picked up a bunch of broccoli rabe.

When we got home, I made salami, mozzarella and roasted red pepper with black pepper sandwiches for lunch.

Then we cooked dinner and will probably have leftovers for the rest of the week!

Happy Sunday to you all!

Birthday Dinner

Twice Baked Potatoes

What do you request for your birthday dinner?  In our house this is a big deal.  And sometimes it gets out of hand!  Most of the time my boys and Matt will ask for the same sort of dinner:  steak and mashed potatoes or twice baked potatoes.  My younger son Dominick turned 10 and of course he requested steak and twice baked potatoes.  These twice baked potatoes are delicious and they always request extra paprika!


8 potatoes(I believe I used Yukon Gold-they are nice and creamy)


3/4 of a cup of Half and half

3 tablespoons of salted butter, softened

Salt and pepper to taste



  • Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees.
  • Rinse and dry the potatoes.
  • Rub olive oil all over the skin of the potatoes.
  • Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.
  • Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft. About 45 minutes- 1 hour.
  • Take out and let cool slightly so you can handle them.
  • Slice off only a small portion of the top.
  • Scoop out all the insides of the potatoes leaving just the skins in the pan. Put the insides in a large bowl.
  • Add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potatoes mashed until smooth. (Do not use an electric mixer. They will be like glue.)
  • Fill the potato skins with the mashed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake on 350 degrees for another 20-30 minutes or until hot.
  • Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

My children will not eat this, but maybe yours will.  Lol.  I make this for me and my husband.  It is so healthy and comforting and smells delicious when its slow cooking.  Its a perfect meal served with a loaf of crusty bread.  this time I just happened to have a ham hock in the freezer leftover from Christmas.  I usually add small potatoes instead.  It was really tasty with the ham hock.  As it slow cooked all the little bits of ham fell off the bone.


  • 1 bag of dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of chopped Italian parsley
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1 ham hock or 5 small potatoes diced
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper


  • Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the order they are listed.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours.
  • Carefully remove and discard the bone.  Stir.
  • Place on high for one more hour.


Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce

Meat sauce is my go to sauce when I just don’t want to make meatballs. It’s the lazy way out, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still so good! And ridiculously easy, healthy and fills the bellies up real good.



4 cans of whole peeled plum tomatoes(San Marzano if available)


A pinch of crushed red pepper

12 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 of a small onion minced

A splash of red wine

About 3 lbs of meatloaf mix or lean ground beef

Crushed black pepper

4 big spoonfuls of grated pecorino Romano

A big handful of Italian parsley chopped


  • Brown meatloaf mix or lean ground beef in medium sauce pan until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pan heat two tablespoons of EVOO.
  • Sauté onion until tender and crushed red pepper.
  • Add garlic and a splash of red wine.
  • Saute until golden.
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Use immersion blender to crush tomatoes until it is a smooth consistency.
  • Add crushed black pepper to taste.
  • Add parsley(basil also if you have it on hand).
  • Add cheese.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Simmer for at least an hour

Serve with your favorite pasta and ENJOY!