Mini Caprese Frittatas

A few weeks ago, I brought these homemade mini caprese frittatas to a brunch with some coworkers. They went over so well that I thought I’d share the recipe with you here! These frittatas are perfect for this time of year, with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes quickly coming into season. They’re delicious served hot or at room temperature.

Mini Caprese Frittatas

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 22 minutes | Yields: 12 mini frittatas

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 12 cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Cut cherry tomatoes into thin coins and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and pesto. Whisk until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Pour the egg mixture into the muffin pan, filling each cup approximately 1/3 full.

Bake for 10 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, sprinkle mozzarella evenly over each muffin cup. Put back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.

When the frittatas have cooked for a total of 20 minutes, place cherry tomatoes on top of each frittata. (The frittatas might be puffed up, but that is okay.) Once the cherry tomatoes are added, turn the oven to broil for the remaining two minutes.

Let muffin pan cool for five minutes before transferring frittatas to a cooling rack. Eat promptly, or at room temperature. Enjoy!

From Scissors & Sage

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Reflections in the Kitchen

Something magical happened yesterday in a Like Water For Chocolate kind of way.  Rather than pass on a specific project or a certain recipe to you all today, I want to share an experience I had in the kitchen.

I set out in the afternoon to make minestrone.  I need something to warm my bones in this cold weather, and it is the first thing that comes to mind.  My family made “minest” a lot when I was a child, and it’s a dish that is incredibly comforting to me.  I call my mom to ask her for the recipe (which is always “a little of this, a little of that” — the Italian way), and when she doesn’t answer her phone, I have a moment of mild internal panic.  My grandmothers have passed away, and my great aunt passed away just two months ago.  Heavily reliant on my family’s matriarchs for culinary wisdom, who else is there to call?

Luckily, my mom calls back only a few minutes later.  She provides me with an outline of possible minestrone ingredients, approximately how much of each goes in, along with when to add the ingredients to the simmering pot.  I’m used to this by now, and find comfort in making it my own as I go.

I always channel members of my family when I am cooking or baking.  When it’s cookies, it’s Grandma Anne or my mom.  When it’s a hearty dinner, it’s Grandma Elisabeth.  When it’s drop-dead-amazing breakfast scones, it’s Grandpa Augie.  This minestrone recipe is Grandma Elisabeth’s.  My mind wanders and I begin thinking of what her house might have smelled like when she was a child.

These moments in the kitchen connect me to those who are no longer with me, and so I continue making these family recipes as often as I can.  Later, when I sit down to transfer my scribbled notes onto a recipe card for my new recipe box, I realize something.  I realize that I am writing down the recipe not for myself, but for others to read many years from now.  I am writing, without meaning to, a set of instructions that are intended for someone else — maybe for a child or a grandchild to mull over when they’re my age.

We have boxes and binders full of recipes from my grandparents, and I love nothing more than to flip through them to see their handwriting, read their stories, and see what types of ingredients they used to cook and bake with.  Grandpa Augie bookmarked his cookbooks with all kinds of pictures, drawings from grandchildren (myself included), party invitations, postcards, and other clippings.  It sometimes feels like he left a scavenger hunt just for me to someday find.

I lift the lid, smell my simmering minestrone after some time has passed, and cry.

Creamy Garlic Linguine

If pasta is involved, sign me up.  It doesn’t matter the size, texture, or sauce  — I will probably love it (unless it involves mushrooms).  I could eat pasta a few times a week if you really twisted my arm about it.  It’s like a blank canvas, just screaming for culinary magic to happen on it.

I was so happy when I stumbled upon this recipe by Lil’ Luna for creamy garlic (penne) pasta.  I gave it a whirl soon after discovering it, and was not disappointed.  This recipe is a fantastic twist on a classic pasta dish.  It’s subtle, but means business.

Creamy Garlic Linguine (via Lil' Luna)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb linguine pasta
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp fresh minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To begin, cook linguine according to package instructions (or if you’ve got some Italian flare in you, don’t read the instructions and go by taste to determine done-ness).

While the pasta water is boiling and the pasta is being cooked, melt butter in a medium sauce pan (I used a wok).  Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add flour and cook for 30 seconds, making sure to stir constantly with a whisk.  Don’t go grab that glass of wine!

Add milk and chicken broth, again stirring constantly.  Cook until sauce boils and thickens.  Add parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  Continue stirring until the parmesan has melted.  Have faith, it will work.

Once the linguine is cooked to al dente perfection and is strained, combine pasta and sauce in either the pasta pot or the wok (whichever one is larger).  Use a pasta scooper to blend the two together.

Serve linguine, with a garnish of fresh parsley, immediately and enjoy!

From Scissors & Sage

Tag your own culinary creations (especially if you try this one at home) with #scissorsandsage on Instagram or Twitter!

“Gnocch-gnocch.” “Who’s there?”

With graduate school over, and Anne off from teaching for the summer, it finally feels like we’ve got our feet back on the ground again.  It’s been a crazy few months to say the least, but we’ve taken the last two weeks to recuperate by spending time with our families and friends, going for bike rides through Philly, and cooking up one hell of a storm in our teeny weeny kitchen.  We challenged ourselves to make homemade pasta, and we decided on ricotta gnocchi.

We found a delicious and easy-to-understand recipe from Italian Food Forever.  Her recipe uses only four ingredients, and does not require any rest time or chill time.  All we added was the use of a wooden gnocchi board to make ridges in the dough.  The ridges help catch sauce and cheese — mmm!  Check out a video of our process on Instagram.

Ricotta Gnocchi (via Italian Food Forever)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb full fat ricotta
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, and egg with a fork until blended.  Add one cup of flour until blended.  Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and add any remaining flour until the dough is not too sticky.

Break off one fist-sized piece of dough at a time, and roll it into a one-inch-wide snake.  Be sure to coat your hands in flour as you work to avoid too much stickiness.  Then, with a sharp knife, cut the dough snake into 3/4-inch pieces.

If using a wooden gnocchi board, take one cut piece of dough and gently flatten it out over the board.  Then, roll the dough into a pinwheel.  (Note that this is an unconventional way to do this.  We boiled a few gnocchi as we rolled them to taste-test, and found that this method resulted in much lighter, fluffier gnocchi.)  Place the finished gnocchi on a floury cookie sheet.  Repeat this process until all of your dough is in gnocchi formation.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.  It’s best to give gnocchi its space — don’t cram them all into a small pot.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, gently place the gnocchi into the water.  When they float to the top, they are cooked.  Use a slotted spoon to take them out of the water as they are finished in case they are different sizes and have differing cook times.

Top the gnocchi with a sauce of your choice.  Anne and I used a tomato sauce with lots of sautéed garlic and fresh basil.  Be sure to have a glass of wine in one hand and a gnocchi-filled fork in the other, and it will surely be a successful dinner!

From Scissors & Sage

Lead chef and hand model: Anne Kenealy