In the Kitchen with Cassie Scerbo

Cassie Scerbo, Zooey Magazine We spent some time with actress and singer Cassie Scerbo ("Sharknado") in her home, where she cooked a tasty pesto tortellini dish. It smelled so good, we were so ready to eat it off the pot! And she was so sweet enough to share our readers with the recipe - trust us, it's so easy you have to make it for your family dinners!

We also got to speak to Cassie about the holidays, her family, and her future plans!

Ingredients: 20 oz. of tortellini Pestro 1 container of crumbled feta cheese 1 can of black olives 1 cup of cherry tomatoes 1/4 cup of purple onions

Directions: Boil approximately 20 oz of tortellini (Buittoni's) for 5 minutes.

Strain the tortellini and pour into a mixing bowl.

Mix in one container of pesto (preferably Buittoni's as well), one container of crumbled feta cheese, one can of black olives, about a cup of cherry tomatoes (chopped into halves) and a quarter cup of a purple onion (chopped) And voila! You have a very simple, yet delicious pasta dish!

Cassie Scerbo, Zooey Magazine

We love your home - so beautifully decorated. Where do you generally shop for home decor? Thank you! I absolutely love Z Gallerie! Also, unfortunately for me, Pier 1 is right around the corner and I just so happen to have an obsession with buying things for my home! Those two places are currently my favorite. Affordable and adorable!

How excited are you for the holidays? What are you doing and where will you be? I'm beyond excited! The holidays are definitely my favorite time of year. I'm going back home to be with my family in Florida. My mom does the traditional Italian Christmas Eve, which consists of seven fish dishes (although she always cooks way more than that). Then there's Christmas morning, which will be my niece's first Christmas this year! I'm so excited! And of course, New Year's, which we usually spend New Year's Eve at our family friend's very well-known, beautiful Italian restaurant, Anthony's Runway 84. My uncle's band, Studio 54, plays classics all night! For actual New Year's day we usually have a bunch of family friends over and just hang out! Basically for me, the holidays mean family and food!

What's been on your wish list? Or your shopping list for others? I had asked for a couple fun things; the new aviator Ray Bans with the colored mirror lenses in blue, a specific David Yurman piece, some new shoes and some other fun things. It's definitely way more exciting to give presents though! I can’t say what I am getting everyone because they will be reading this...

Cassie Scerbo, Zooey Magazine

What are your favorite foods?

My favorite food is Italian food. My mother's famous meatballs & ricotta cheesecake are out of this world. Everything she makes is. That's why I have to force myself to go to the gym even more when I visit back home, because I eat twice as much!

We love that you're family-oriented! What are your family traditions?

In our family, every Sunday is traditional. My mom cooks a big Italian feast with the help of my dad. Besides our Christmas Eve tradition, we also do an annual Scerbo girl cookie baking night! I definitely try to take the load off my mom's shoulders and cook for the family from time to time when I'm home, although she always ends up jumping in any way! We love cooking together. For her birthday this year, I made an arrangement of cauliflower crust pizzas (one of my new favorite recipes.) I made a Mediterranean style pizza with pesto, mascarpone spread, feta, chopped grape tomatoes, a little red onion, olives etc. I also made a simple Pepperoni pie and a vegetable one, accompanied by my favorite kale salad.

Where do you enjoy eating in Los Angeles? Some of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles are Aventine, Angelini, Fabrocini's, Asia De Cuba, Takami, Yatai, Talesai, Studio Cafe, The Six, and Katsuya.

Cassie Scerbo, Zooey Magazine

Tell us about all your upcoming projects! What are you most excited to share with your fans? I'm very excited to be singing again! I plan on releasing a fun cover video on December 27th when I do my Just Jared Jr. takeover. It's going to be a simple acoustic cover, the vibe is very cool and moody. It's my Christmas gift to my fans! Also, I can't wait to attend the People's Choice Awards, especially since I have a film that's nominated! And of course my Baby Daddy episodes which will be airing in the spring! I had such a blast with the cast. They're all so talented and sweet!

You're an Italian New Yorker. How much different is living in New York to Los Angeles? Which do you prefer? Well, I was born in New York and raised in Florida, although my family is your typical "New York Italian" family. Everyone has heavy New York accents, and a Sunday Dinner at our house resembles an episode of The Sopranos (minus the violence!) I personally prefer the East Coast because I feel the vibe is a bit more "real", and of course, the city is my favorite place in the world..

Cassie Scerbo, Zooey Magazine

How are your roots inspiring the way you live your life? My family and our grounded lifestyle keep me in line. My parents have definitely done an amazing job raising my big sister, big brother and I. We're big on "Trust, loyalty, respect." I've seen so many people go down the wrong path, and I just pray to always stay focused. Staying on track with my personal life keeps me focused on my craft as well. It's all about stability and balance.

Where do you see yourself 5, 10 years from now? Sky's the limit, ya know? There is so much I hope to accomplish in my lifetime between entertainment and charity. Most important is just making my fans and loved ones proud.

Photographed by Brandon Kidd Styled by Sarah Chorley Hair and Makeup by Crystal Liz

Stockists: Black sequin dress: Lumier by Bariano // Orange coat: Darling