Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mini Lasagnas

As many of you may have seen on Pinterest, Mini Lasagnas are all the rage.  One day at the grocery store, I picked up ingredients to make my own version, and when a movie night with friends presented itself, I whipped up mini lasagnas for everyone.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
Ricotta Cheese (I use fat free)
Shredded Italian blend cheese or mozzarella
1 Can Crushed tomatoes (to make sauce, or you can buy sauce- homemade is always better though)
Lemon Juice
Garlic salt
Wonton Wraps (to use in place of noodles)

I found the wonton wraps in the tofu section in with the fresh fruits and vegetables. Publix was out, so I went to Fresh Market instead. Many recipes online tell you to use broken lasagna ready-to-bake noodles, but I wanted to try the lighter, crispy wontons, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I also love to make my own spaghetti sauce. I buy the Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes from SweetBay grocery. They have basil already in them, and a really rustic Italian flavor. I simply pour in a bowl, add a splash of lemon juice, and add in some crushed oregano and more basil (crushed with my mortal and pestle to release the oils of the herbs). Voila! Homemade pasta sauce that is to die for!


To make the mini lasagnas, preheat your oven to 350 Degrees. In a skillet, brown your beef and Italian sausage.  I love the combination of both beef and sausage for a more rustic flavoring. You could easily substitute the beef and sausage for ground turkey, or something more decadent like veal or venison too.

While the meat is browning, spray a muffin tin with a non-stick cooking spray, and gently lay the wonton noodles in each cup.  I used 2-3 per cup, and I liked the edges to be overhanging a lot because they would get crispy at the end.

Next,  in a bowl, add a little oregano and garlic salt to the Ricotta cheese. This just peps up the flavor a bit.

 Add the ricotta cheese to the wonton cups. Be sure to not fill them over half way, as more ingredients need to be added. Press down the cheese, so that the wontons fill the entire bottom of the tin. 

Next add about a teaspoon of your sauce, and the browned meat on top. You could mix these together first if you'd like. I simply pressed the meat into the sauce once it was in the cup. 

Top with your shredded Italian cheese, being sure to cover most of the ingredients in each cup. This will keep the sauce and meat from bubbling out.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the top of the cheese is browned, and the wontons are crispy. To remove the mini lasagnas from the tin, simply lift out. If they happen to be a little stuck, you didn't use enough cooking spray, so scoop out with a spoon. Serve and enjoy!

I found these to be a perfect potion size for guests. Some people went back for a second, but most were pretty satisfied with just one. They also save great for leftovers the next day. I think it would be an easy recipe to whip up when just cooking for two, as long as you have the ingredients on hand. No need to make a whole muffin tin full, just make four or six, and unlike traditional lasagna,  you won't be stuck with an entire pan of lasagna that will take you a week to eat. Hope you enjoy!

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