Is it lasagna or lasagne? Either way, I love it! Making lasagna is like crafting a food sculpture of heavenly layers... seriously, cheese, herbs, savory sauce- the Italians nailed it with this one. Thing is, I don't make it very often because I am usually cooking for two, and a sheet of lasagna usually serves about eight. But, came up with a solution- mini lasagnas!! Like personal pizzas.. teeny and perfect for one or two, three or four, or however many you're feeding. Mmm and the garlic bread is perfect for mopping up extra sauce... garlicky and herbalicious! But I warn you, it's hard to eat just one of these layered little Italian heavens...
- 1⁄4 large onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2 cup bell pepper, chopped (red, green, or both)
- 1⁄2 cup mushroom, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef or 1⁄2 lb turkey
- 1⁄3 cup ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
- 3⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or about 1/2 dried)
- olive oil, about 1-2 tbsp
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 cup pasta sauce or 1 cup marinara sauce
- 8 lasagna noodles (boiled as instructed until soft and pliable-the no-boil noodles will not work)
- Heat onion in a pan over medium heat with a little olive oil.
- Sprinkle with thyme and salt to season and help sweat.
- After a couple of minutes, stir in garlic, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini.
- and season with a little salt, pepper, and fresh oregano.
- Cook until veggies are softened and onions are translucent.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- Adding more oil if necessary, cook meat over medium heat.
- Season with salt (1/2 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), and basil (1/2 tsp).
- Cook until no longer pink and remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together ricotta, parsley, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper,
- egg, and about 1/4 cup mozzarella (the remaining 1/2 cup is for the topping).
- Set aside.
- Lightly grease four ramekins with olive oil and spread a little sauce on the bottom of each (to keep the noodles soft during baking).
- Using two (pre-boiled) lasagna noodles, make an X in each ramekin.
- Put a spoonful of sauce in each X (about 1 tbsp).
- Put a spoonful of meat on top of sauce.
- Cover meat with one flap of the noodle X.
- Top with a spoonful of the veggie mixture.
- Fold over another side of the X.
- Top with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture.
- Fold over the third flap and top with about 1/2 of the remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 cup).
- Fold over the last flap so it sits just over the cheese.
- Top with sauce, making sure to spread it evenly around the sides and top (without it dripping over the sides, but instead dripping down the insides of the ramekins).
- Top with remaining cheese.
- (I added a little more at the end of baking, too).
- Bake at 375 degrees in a baking dish for about 40 minutes.
- Using a spoon, gently remove each mini lasagna from the ramekins.
- (they should come out easily).
- Serve with garlic bread and enjoy!