Of all the thing I miss in life, I miss my mind the most!

In the craziness of last week, I completely forgot to post last week’s Recipe. So, without further ado, I’ll give you two. Enjoy!

Stuffed Pasta Shells Florentine a la Pietro

Preheat oven to 350 F

15-20 Large pasta shells (you may also use manicotti)
1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, Italian sausage or combination)
1 large onion (red or yellow), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 3 tbsp dried)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan, Romano, or asiago cheese
1 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
4 cups (approx) tomato pasta sauce


Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Rinse with cold water. Allow to cool.


Brown ground meat. Make sure meat is broken into very small bits. Remove from pot and drain well. Remove drippings from pot. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add basil, parsley and dried herbs. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Add meat and spinach. Stir in nutmeg. Mix ingredients thoroughly. Continue cooking until most the moisture from the spinach has evaporated. Remove pot from heat and add beaten egg. Mix thoroughly, taking care that egg does not scramble. Add the bread crumbs and one cup of the grated cheese. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be consistency of thick paste. If mixture is too dry, add another egg – if too moist, add more bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time. Cool to room temperature.


Coat bottom of baking dish with sauce. (Baking dish should be at least 1 1/2″ deep.) Fill each shell with approximately 3 tsp of filling. Arrange stuffed shells with open side down on sauce coated baking dish. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch space between shells. Completely cover each shell with sauce, then remaining cheese. Bake in 350° oven for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and Pecans

2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (12 oz) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries (or raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots or dried fruit of your choice)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375°

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in chips, oats, fruit and nuts. Drop by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes: cool on wire rack.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies


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