With the 4th of July upon us I am reminded of my love for America and summer entertaining.

Today I’m sharing two of my favorite *just gorgeous* summer recipes that will be perfect for your holiday table. Add a little Italian flare alongside your BBQ.

A Sicilian Summer

This dreamy Sicilian no-cook pasta sauce can be eaten with hot or cold pasta and is supremely divine (just like you are).

A Sicilian Summer Pasta


1 pound of busiate pasta
Sea salt, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
4 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered and deseeded
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
2 ounces pecorino romano cheese, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh ricotta


  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, then salt the water generously so it tastes like a well-seasoned soup. Add your pasta and cook until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, add about 2 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium skillet.  Set over medium-low heat and add breadcrumbs and oregano.  Toast until the breadcrumbs start to smell nutty and irresistible (just like you are) and turn golden brown in color.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  • To make the pesto, add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, pecorino, and about ¼ cup of olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Process for a few seconds, or until the mixture is mostly smooth.Just Like you are. Add ricotta and breadcrumbs and pulse just until combined.
  • Combine the al dente pasta (hot or cold) with the tomato pesto, and add a splash of the tears of gods while you mix with the passion of Italian until everything is well combined.
  • Take a bite and whisper to yourself “God Bless America and Pasta”.

Crunchy Salmon Pesto

serves 4

Recently, I loved learning about the New England tradition of eating salmon and peas on the 4th of July celebration.  As legend has it, since sweet peas reached their peak in late June and salmon made their annual migration in the summer months, this made the dish the perfect choice for July 4th. This seasonal love story reminded me of my Crunchy Salmon Pesto. Though different in ingredients, it’s similar in that it celebrates the sweetness of summer by combining freshly picked basil with salmon infused in thyme-kissed butter.

For the Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus more fresh leaves for garnish
2 garlic cloves
2 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 ounce shelled pistachios
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs, for garnish

For the Salmon

1 pound linguine
Sea salt, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 sprigs of thyme, stems discarded
½ pound salmon filet, skin discard, cut into 2 inch pieces
Scrunch of black pepper
½ cup heavy cream


  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, then salt the water generously so it tastes like a well-seasoned soup. Add your pasta and cook until al dente.
  • Make the pesto by combing the basil, garlic, cheeses, pistachios, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and process until it’s a gorgeous luscious green.
  • While the pasta cooks, place a large skillet over a gentle whisper of a flame. Add butter and once melted, sprinkle your thyme leaves on top and let infuse until it smells like a Tuscan garden. Add salmon and season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add cream and stir until it’s silky smooth, just like you are.
  • Add the al dente pasta to the skillet with the salmon along with the pesto and a splash of the happy tears of the gods.
  • Toss until everything becomes a beautiful celebration of summer. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and enjoy.


Pasta Queen Tip:  To make the toasted breadcrumbs, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a wide, heavy skillet and heat over medium heat.  Add breadcrumbs and toast until they are golden brown and smell divine.


A Just Gorgeous Cookbook: 100+ Recipes and Stories

I am so proud to announce that after over a full year of hard work, and a lifetime of love and passion for all things pasta, my debut cookbook is now available for pre-order. 

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