Welcome to another episode of "The Accidental Genius"! (I'd beg you to stay but something tells me I had you at "mac + cheese".)
Today's post is inspired by Giada De Laurentiis' Linguine and Prosciutto Frittatas, a recipe that did *pretty well* in our house - until the competition - Mini Mac + Cheese Frittatas - came and bowled it over.
What I initially loved about Giada's recipe is how refrigerate-able, reheat-able and portable the idea of mini frittatas is for a family with young kids. What I wanted to improve on was more nutrition, a bit less fat and substituting the linguine with a less *noodley*, bite-sized pasta.
I picked up a box of this macaroni for the first time. Gluten-free, organic and quinoa - three wonderful sounding characteristics, two of which I could not define.
I had to add sweet potatoes. Not just because I'd purchased a big bag of them with no plans in mind, but also because they ARE the most nutritionally rich vegetable - this I know! These were relatively small sweet potatoes, no? I cut them 1/2" thick (skin on - it's good for you!), tossed them with a little oo and s+p, put them on a cookie sheet and baked them at 400 F for 20 minutes.
When I got my first born to eat broccoli on a regular basis, I fancied myself some sort of champion. As a child, I had refused to touch the stuff. But it does seem like most kids today do pretty well with the bushy green. Amen, Mommies! Here I took the florets and cut most of the stem off so all that was left was tiny, bit size pieces with short, thin stems.
All the ingredients (sans the sweet potatoes and egg/milk mixture), almost ready to mix.
Fill 'em up!
So tasty! Not only did the kids love them but us adults enjoyed them for lunch as well. Half of what remained went in the refrigerator and the other half in the freezer. Even better - this is the way I finally got the baby to eat egg which he'd been refusing for months. Haha, Little Man - Gotcha!
MINI MAC + CHEESE FRITTATAS
Makes 24 muffin sized frittatas
- 2 small sweet potatoes (approx 12 oz), sliced 1/2" thick
- 1/2 pound macaroni pasta
- 13 homegrown eggs (approx 10 large)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
- 6 ounces cooked ham, diced (and small cuts of a salty meat will work)
- 5 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups tiny, broccoli florets
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped (only have a red? that's OK too)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Special equipment: 1 to 2 regular-sized muffin tin for 12 muffins
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the muffin tin.
Toss sliced sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil to coat, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes so they are evenly brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Reduce oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the pasta according to instructions so it is al dente.
In a blender combine the eggs, milk, half and half and ricotta cheese. Blend until well combined. Add room temperature sweet potatoes (as not to cook the eggs). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the pasta, ham, mozzarella cheese, parmesean cheese, broccoli, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the ingredients are combined.
Using a 1/3 cup measure, fill each of the muffin tins until both the pasta and liquid are at the top. Bake until firm and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from the tin. Arrange on a serving platter and serve or refrigerate.