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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lasagna Cups

My mom always taught me not to play with my food, but making this version of lasagna in a cup felt kind of like playing with my food. Sssshhhh don't tell my mom ;)
This wasn't necessarily as easy as making regular lasagna in a pan, but it also makes for great single servings to store in the freezer for work lunches. These would be great to make for a party, or for when a pot luck at work calls for more "single serve" style food.

*Makes 11 lasagna cups






Ingredients:
for the sauce-
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion
1/4 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1/4 lb hot italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce ( plus 1/2 can water)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
salt & pepper to taste


for the cheese filling-
1-10 oz. tub Philadelphia Italian Herb & Cheese Cooking Cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese,
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated & divided
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg





1 box lasagna noodles ( I use whole wheat)


Parmesan cheese for the top along with the extra mozzarella

For the sauce- heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, pepper, zucchini and garlic for about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked ground beef and tomato paste and mix together. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes.

For the cheese filling- stir all ingredients together excluding half of the grated mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

For the pasta- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta sheets 2 minutes less than package directions and drain.Rinse with cold water and place pasta on greased baking sheet until you are ready to put together the lasagna cups.

For assembly- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out 11 large squares of parchment paper. Line 11 jumbo muffin tins with the squares. They won't stay down on their own, but don't fret, the pasta will help "weigh them down" so they will stay. Line the edges of the muffin tins with 1 lasagna noodle.  The lasagna noodle will overlap itself about 2 inches. Spoon about 1/2- 1 tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each cup into the center of the noodle lined muffin tin holes.  Next cut the rest of the noodles into quarters and press one of these pieces of pasta into the bottom of each cup,  on top of the sauce. Top the noodle square you just placed at the bottom with a generous tablespoon of sauce. Then place a generous tablespoon of cheese filling on top of the sauce.  Repeat this pasta-sauce-cheese layering one more time being sure to press out any air bubbles. Top these lasagna cups off with a 3rd piece of pasta, more sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top of the mozzarella. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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