Mini Lasagne / Lasagna

Originally, I was going to make regular sized lasagna, but then Jonathan and I had the idea to make them mini, in a muffin pan.  First, I made a fresh thick tomato sauce from scratch.  I used ground pork instead of beef because it gives a lighter flavour that Jonathan and I quite enjoy.  Then, I constructed the lasagna layers of meaty tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella.  The top layer of cheese at the end gets a nice crisp, golden, and delicious finish in the oven.

Fun foodie fact courtesy of CHOW.com:

-Lasagna refers to the individual pasta

-Lasagne refers to the whole dish

We have been calling it the wrong thing all these years! However, the dish is now most commonly searched for and called lasagna, so really, both spellings are valid, as far as I’m concerned.

This tasty meal is delicious in both its miniature and original form.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients

1 jar of tomato puree

1 can of diced tomatoes

6 leaves of fresh basil

3 cloves of garlic minced

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 pound lean ground pork

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp chili flakes

½ tsp dried oregano

1 package of wholewheat lasagna noodles

2 cups of shredded mozzarella

Instructions:

  1. Add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to a pot on medium-high heat.  Add in finely chopped onion and stir until slightly brown.  Add in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Wash and then chop fresh basil into small pieces.  Stir in with the garlic and onion.  Add chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the tomato puree and diced tomatoes.  Bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes-1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, cook the ground pork in a fry pan.  Once it is cooked drain any excess fat.  Stir the cooked ground pork into the tomato sauce and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Boil the water as instructed by the lasagna noodle package.  Make sure the noodles do not stick together while they are boiling.
  6. Shred two cups of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Heat oven to 350 F.
  8. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, so the lasagna does not stick to the muffin pan.
  9. Once the sauce and lasagna noodles have cooked, carefully place the pasta into the muffin pan.  Add sauce.  Add cheese.  Add more sauce.  Add more cheese.  And so on and so forth, until your muffin pan is full and the mini lasagna is layered perfectly.
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Let cool for 3-5 minutes (the cooling time is essential for the cheese and pasta to set, so you will be able to get it out of the muffin pan) and then enjoy!
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