When I made these, one of the first things I did was send an excited message to my brother saying, “Just made lasagne cupcakes!!” and he replied “Gross.” I think he thought I’d made cupcakes with cheese and tomato in, or some awful cake-pasta hybrid. Thankfully, the only thing “cupcake” about these individual lasagnes is that they are cooked in a muffin tin, making delicious baby lasagnes that cook really quickly.
There are lots of versions of these on the internet at the moment, but I love the combination here of sun-dried tomatoes with the bolognese sauce. Also, mine use an actual bolognese sauce, rather that buying a ready-made jar of “pasta sauce”. It maybe takes slightly longer to make your own, but it is much tastier and there’s less of the hidden salts and sugars you get in shop-bought tomato sauce.
This recipe also uses my current favourite trick of re-purposing the oil in jars of sun-dried tomatoes. That oil is full of flavour, so use it in place of your regular olive oil. It’s great as a salad dressing. I wouldn’t normally use olive oil to cook with but I made an exception in this case.
The recipe makes 12 individual lasagnes and I found that two was enough per person along with a nice salad or even just some garden peas. They reheat really well in a microwave so are fabulous for work lunches, and they also freeze easily.
The final test will be if my brother agrees now that these are as amazing as I think they are!
Ingredients (makes 12 individual lasagnes)
– 400g beef mince
– 1 small onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
– 1 pack wanton wrappers
– 75g sun-dried tomatoes in oil
– 125g ricotta cheese
– 125g mozzarella cheese
– 100g parmesan cheese
– 200g tomato paste
1. Heat a tablespoon of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large pan. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until softening. Add the mince and Worchestershire sauce and cook until the mince is brown.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and oregano. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into halves or thirds and add them to the sauce as well. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.
3. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin (I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes again). Place two wanton wrappers in the bottom of each hole. Overlap them at an angle make a star shape.
4. Season the Bolognese sauce to taste, but remember not to add too much salt because the Parmesan also adds a saltiness. Take half of the sauce mixture and divide between the muffin holes.
5. Top with a little of the ricotta, the mozzarella and grate some Parmesan over the top.
6. Place two more overlapping wanton wrappers on top and then repeat the layers with the remaining sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and finally Parmesan. Finish off with freshly cracked black pepper.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and bubbling.
Note – You can cut the wanton wrappers into circle shapes with a glass or cookie cutter to make more elegant shapes, but I prefer the rustic overlapping edges!
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