For those of us who do not have one big fambam to feed.
Sometimes, I get so hungry, I buy a ton of food…and then eat two bites. With this cupcake fad going around, why ever not? Perfect portioning for that penitent January dieting. (Too bad I loaded up on spicy Italian sausage and a blanketing of Fontinella cheese in this recipe.)
8 oz. Fra Diavolo sauce (or any other sauce that’s on sale this week)
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz. lasagna noodles, (or wonton wrappers, see note below)
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage (other recipes use ground turkey, I recommend marinating your meat with Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning and garlic powder)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
6 cloves of garlic
optional: 3 oz. Picpoul de Pinet (or any wine that strikes your fancy)
15 oz. Traditional-style Ricotta cheese (I purchased mine from my beloved Trader Joe’s, theirs is dense and does not have that watery consistency)
1 egg, beaten
pinch of Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Parsley
grated chunks of Fontinella cheese mixed with Parmegiano-Reggiano
Recipe yields approximately 24 muffin-sized lasagna servings.
Prepare the lasagna noodles according to directions. I don’t like having to struggle with half-hanging out noodles from my pot, so instead, I filled a baking pan with hot water, and softened the noddles that way. (I’m also a fan of very al-dente pasta). The noodles finish cooking during the baking process.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins lightly with olive oil.
Mix the beaten egg, salt, parsley and ricotta cheese. (Sounds like a slightly shady concoction, I know, but the egg helps keep the cheese mixture intact.)
Ok, get ready to get your hands dirty: Heat up red pepper flakes in olive oil under med-low heat. While waiting for flakes to warm, crush garlic using a garlic press and add immediately to pan. Remove the Italian sausage contents from it’s casing (public health disclaimer: wash your hands immediately afterwards) and also add to the pan. Brown until no longer pink.
I’m no expert, but I like to add the wine once the meat is semi-cooked, to de-glaze the pan of any good bits prior to adding the sauce. Once that evaporates some, I add the sauce and tomato paste and wait for that to thicken. Decrease stove heat to low-heat.
Assembly time! I used kitchen shears to cut up the lasagna noodles. (Hello, my name is Regina. I am a college graduate and I like to play with food.)
The sequence goes: noodles, ricotta mixture, meat sauce, repeat. Then top with fontinella, parsley and breadcrumbs, if you want that extra crunch like I do.
Bake under 350 degrees for fifteen minutes, and broil for five minutes.
* To save baking time, and the grief of having to cut up the lasagna noodles to fit the muffin tins, you can definitely use separated wonton wrappers instead. Bake for ten minutes. *
I am suffering from withdrawal due to my wisdom teeth excision and am currently damned to pureed porridge, amoxicillin, and snooze-fest inducing hydrocodone for the time being.
I have placed myself in some painful predicaments lately, such as encountering a very rare occasion of free cheesecake tastings at Costco whilst waiting for my medications to be filled, creeping on Roboppy (the most incredible food blog ever) prior to my procedure, and craving Canadian bacon and bacon pizza from Assante’s. I asked myself… Why must you be so smart as to conveniently present yourself to times of fatty cravings immediately after teeth extraction?
This form of glorious carbohydrates, courtesy of the equally glorious Trader Joe’s, is my main morning staple. I cannot function without it as 80% of America cannot function without their cup of Joe. This raisin and walnut encrusted loaf, toasted for 5 1/2 minutes and served with softened butter is incredibly filling and just so. damned. good.
I purchase about three or so loaves of the good stuff every trip to Joe’s and pile up my freezer like there’s going to be a calamity coming.