Mozzarella, Tomato, and Black Olive Pasta

I’m so excited to make one of my favorite pasta dishes for the 4th of July! This is so festive because it has the colors of red, white…and all you need to do is incorporate some blue around the table. My napkins have stripes of blue in them but really any pop of the color blue anywhere will work just fine!

A great side to the BBQ you’ll be grilling and if you feel like going vegetarian you’re going to want to make this in addition to your other favorite recipes and sides.

What are you making for the 4th of July?

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Black Olive Pasta


  • 1 pound bow tie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup, diced, black olives


1)   Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Drain pasta into a large bowl.

2)   In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook smash them with a fork or use a potato masher. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce. Add black olives and cook with tomatoes for about 2 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella stirring while you add. Serve immediately.

Makes about 4 servings. 


Sausage Spaghetti

This dish is one of my traditional, quick, go-to dishes when I need something in the moment and I need it to be hearty.

The vegetable combination really gives this dish its flavor and pulls everything together. I know you’re probably wondering where is the salt? I try not to use a lot of salt if I can. In this case, the pasta sauce that I’m using already has salt in it and so do the sausages. This much salt is enough in order for it not to overpower the other flavors in the dish.

When I think of Italian this is definitely one of the things that comes to mind. The vegetable combination really gives this dish its flavor and pulls everything together. What are some of your favorite ways to cook pasta? What kinds of combinations do you like to try?

Sausage Spaghetti


  • 4 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sausage links, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup pasta sauce
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


1) Put olive oil in a skillet and over medium heat with minced garlic. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the bell pepper and red onion.  Keep stirring the pepper, garlic and onions until they turn into a golden brown. Then add tomatoes with the sausages and stir around until the sausages began to brown. Once they brown, add pasta sauce, close lid and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

2) Put spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and cook.

3) Once the spaghetti is ready, drain and rinse with cold water.

4 ) Put spaghetti onto plates, ladle the sauce with everything over it and serve warm.

Serves 4 people.