Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pasta and cheese "cupcakes" {cooking with kids}

This is a fun and easy recipe for parents and kids to do together. Do alittle prep ahead and place all your toppings in small bowls then let the kids assemble them!  Get creative and use any toppings you like, we used broccoli, diced turkey and grape tomatoes.  My guys had a blast and we all enjoyed eating the little pasta "cupcakes" for lunch. Enjoy!

Recipe: (makes 12 cupcakes)
1/4-1/2 pound small pasta, such as Campanelle, macaroni or mini penne, cooked until al dente about 1 min less than package directions
3-4 toppings of your choice
       such as:
       -ground turkey, cooked until browned and no longer pink
       -small cubes of cooked turkey, chicken or ham
       -grape tomatoes, quartered
       -green peas
       -broccoli florets, asparagus, carrots or zucchini: Steam veggies until crisp tender, then place in bowl of ice water to stop cooking, remove and dice into small pieces to fit in muffin cups
1/2 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar or jack
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 plain breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375'F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place all toppings in small bowls and let kids assemble. First fill each muffin cup about half full with the cooked pasta, then top with toppings of your choice.

2. Finish with a sprinkle of the cheeses. Place breadcrumbs in a shaker if you have one or use a spoon and dust the top of each cupcake with breadcrumbs for a tasty crispy topping.
 Watch them bake (optional)
3. Bake at 375'F for 15-20 until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Let cool for about 5 minutes to allow the cheese to firm up and bind the pasta then scoop out your cuppies and serve warm.

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