Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lasagna Purses

There are so many lasagna variations out there... but why not try something different? I'm not talking about a new flavor combination or even a unique ingredient to incorporate in. I'm talking about making this popular crowd pleasing dish into individual portions! These Lasagna Purses are a great way to make lasagna into smaller portions and they freeze beautifully...

When I saw this recipe from not too long ago, I knew I had to give them a try. It allowed me to use my muffin pan in a more creative way and I love how it's a great pan to utilize for individual servings. This recipe allows you to incorporate your favorite lasagna recipe. With your sauce, pasta and filling handy, these purses are a cinch to make. The original recipe called for using eggroll wrappers. I'm not particularly a fan of eggroll wrappers in this application because I found that they come out too dry and brittle. So instead, I boiled up lasagna noodles and cut each in half so I could work with them easily. They came out just as your usual lasagna would since it's the same pasta afterall. Feel free to play with this using your favorite lasagna recipes. If you need some inspiration, check out my 15 Lasagna Recipes to Layer Up!

Lasagna Purses
recipe adapted from Big Red Kitchen

8 oz dried lasagna sheets
2 cups favorite pasta sauce (I used a chunky meat sauce)
2 pounds ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups shredded Italian Blend cheese
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; grease the wells of 2 standard muffin pans.

Prepare the dry lasagna pasta as directed on the package. Once cooked to al dente, drain and cut each lasagna sheet/noodle in half; set aside.

Prepare the ricotta filling by combining the remaining ingredients except the pasta sauce, set aside.

Place one piece of lasagna sheet/noodle in each of the 24 greased, standard muffin tin wells. Press each down gently until it fills the bottom of each well, taking care not to rip the wrapper.

Fill each muffin well with a tablespoon of ricotta filling.

Top the filling with a tablespoon of your pasta sauce.

Repeat the layers: piece of lasagna sheet/noodle, ricotta cheese filling, and pasta sauce.

One at a time, fold the excess pasta flaps of each lasagna purse towards its center. Brush liberally with olive oil, top with a tablespoon of pasta sauce and a sprinkling of cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove each purse the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the purse from the pan and serve warm.