Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lasagna Cups

I feel like everyone eats appetizers for New Years Eve and/or for all the football games that take place during the beginning of January.  When I hosted an appetizer party at the beginning of December, this recipe won a first place prize.  It's easy, it's simple to transport, it's hearty (for an appetizer, this little thing will fill you up) and it tastes fabulous.  I'm so glad my friend Sheaffer brought them to my party.  And hey...on a busy weeknight, these could be a fun dinner for your family...who says you can't eat a few lasagna cups and a bagged Caesar salad for dinner??  Your family would think that was a very fun dinner.

Shopping List
1 pound ground beef or turkey
¼ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
½ cup  mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or a small jar of spaghetti sauce works great too!)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp dried oregano, divided
½ tsp dried basil
1 ½ cups part skim ricotta cheese
24 small square wonton wrappers (the kind near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the produce dept)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef, then add in onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Saute the mixture for about 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir about a minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes and 2 tsp of oregano. Bring the pan to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, a pinch of salt and pepper, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and the basil. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides.
Using half of the ricotta mixture, divide it among the 12 muffin cups. Next, using half of the ground beef mixture, spoon it evenly over each of the ricotta filled cups. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of mozzarella.
Gently press another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer.
Repeat the process by distributing the remaining ricotta, then the remaining ground beef mixture, and finally the rest of the shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Let the cups cool, remove them from the pan by sticking a fork under each one and gently lifting out.

Thank you Sheaffer!!


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