Spicy Meat Marinara Sauce

Makes 3-4 cups sauce. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

8 ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1 bell pepper, minced

1 cup fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped

1 pound ground Italian sausage

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried parsley

1. Stem and cut tomatoes into wedges. Puree in a blender or food processor.

2. Heat olive oil in a 3-quart Dutch oven or deep, heavy skillet.

3. Sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper and mushrooms until tender.

4. Stir in Italian sausage and cook about 10 minutes or until firm.

5. Stir in the tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces and thickens, about 1½ to 2 hours.

6. Serve warm over pasta, stuffed shells or ravioli.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells

Makes 4 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed

2 tablespoon sugar

2 cups goat cheese

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

Large pasta shells for stuffing

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Cook spinach and sugar until fully wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Let cool, then drain and dry the spinach to remove all the water.

4. Return spinach to skillet over medium heat. Stir in the goat cheese until melted. Season with, salt and pepper.

5. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta shells, stir gently and return to a boil. Cook uncovered about 9 minutes.

6. Drain and cool pasta shells on paper towels. Stuff each shell with 1 or 2 tablespoons of spinach stuffing and place in a baking pan.

7. Store refrigerated until ready to cook. Then bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot topped with marinara sauce.

Louisiana Orange Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Makes 1 to 2 dozen cookies depending on cutter size. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

¾ cup butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of ½ of an orange (about 3 tablespoons juice)

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 350 F.

2. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add orange zest and juice. Then add flour and nutmeg, mixing just until incorporated.

4. Turn dough out on a floured surface. Lightly roll out dough until ½-inch thick. Cut with a cookie cutter in desired shapes.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Sprinkle a little extra nutmeg on top while warm. Cookies will be buttery and lightly sweet.