I am of the school of thought that believes all good things are made better when they are miniature. We are the people who worship ramekins, who look for recipes that can easily be subdivided, and who are constantly putting entree dishes into muffin tins. We tend to create more work for ourselves with this habit, but all of that is easily forgotten when the end result is your favorite dish in its adorable miniature form.
One of my favorite miniature dishes to recreate are petite lasagnas. Not only are they precious, but they are the ideal single-lady dinner dish to make. It gives me the yummy comfort food fix of lasagna without a giant casserole dish of leftovers that I am forced to eat repeatedly throughout the week. These babies are also easy to freeze if you find yourself with too many servings and not enough mouths.
Butternut Squash & Spinach Petite Lasagnas
1 packet of refrigerated wonton wrappers
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a few cups of spinach, depending on how green you want your lasagnas to be
1/4 small onion
2 teaspoons italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small to medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
For your squash mixture:
Preheat the oven to 425.
Peel your butternut squash and chop it all up into small pieces. (You can also buy pre-peeled and chopped squash and save yourself time if your grocery store has it.) Throw the squash into a bowl and coat with the olive oil, 1 of your minced garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread everything out onto a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until your squash is easily pierced.
When its done baking, throw it all into your food processor and pulse until you get a heavenly orange puree–then set it aside.
For your spinach and cheese mixture:
Heat a smidge of oil in a skillet and throw your spinach in, cooking it until it wilts. Drain it in a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. At this point, I like to chop the spinach into small pieces–remember its going into a mini cup, so you don’t want huge pieces of spinach in there!
Slice your onion into thin pieces. Heat another smide of oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan) and sauté your onions until they are golden. Toss in the other minced garlic clove and your spinach and cook for another couple of minutes, until everything is combined.
Meanwhile, pour your ricotta into a bowl and toss in 2 tsp italian seasonings, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. When your spinach is ready, pour the spinach-garlic-onion mixture into the ricotta and stir everything together to combine it.
Assembling your lasagnas:
Reduce your oven temperature to 375.
Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray and lay 1 wonton wrapper into each cup, gently pushing down into the bottom of the cup and up the sides, creating a little wonton well.
Divide half of the spinach and ricotta mixture amongst the cups. Then, take your butternut squash mixture and add some to each cup. Add a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella to the top.
Cover with another wonton wrapper, gently pushing down on the previous toppings. Repeat the filling process, adding layers of spinach-ricotta, squash, and cheese. Finish with a final (and generous) sprinkling of cheese.
Note: I was able to make two layers on each of my lasagna cups, but you could just as easily do one layer if you want lots of filling per cup. Just use your best judgment and see how much you can reasonably fit and how much filling you have made!
Put the muffin tin in the over and bake for 10 or 12 minutes, until the cheese has melted and your wontons are golden.
This recipe can be easily amended to include any veggies you like, meat if you so desire, and different seasonings and sauces–whatever you think will taste good/you like in your lasagna will work beautifully. My one suggestion, however, is to not put a runny sauce (like tomato sauce) as your first layer if you are using it. The wontons will most likely end up soggy on the bottom, so I would cushion runny sauces with a ricotta mixture or something like it.