Lasagna Cupcakes with Arrabiata & Homemade Ricotta


FROM - DelightfulDeliciousDelovely.com

Lasagna Cupcakes with Arrabiata & Homemade Ricotta

ARRABIATA

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil

1 TBS crushed red pepper (for a very spicy sauce.  Use LESS if you want less heat)

20 cloves of garlic - 1/2 minced, 1/2 left whole

3 oz tomato paste (1/2 small can)

26 oz chopped tomatoes (preferably NOT canned but - maybe - POMI)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 TBS dry oregano

3 sprigs fresh oregano

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan.  Saute all the garlic until the minced garlic begins to turn golden.  Add the tomato paste & stir over high heat for about a minute.  Lower the heat to medium & add the rest of the ingredients.  This sauce was very spicy with the full TBS of crushed red pepper - so ease into using the red pepper & add more according to your own palette & tolerance.  Bring this to a boil & then cover & lower heat to low & let simmer - the longer the better.  I made this a day in advance & refrigerated it overnight - letting the flavors blend - but this isn't necessary.  Let it cool before assembling the cupcakes.  

HOMEMADE RICOTTA

INGREDIENTS

1 gallon whole milk

2 cups buttermilk

5 TBS white vinegar

2 tsp salt

Cheesecloth

DIRECTIONS

Make this in two batches.  Divide the ingredients in half & do it in two batches.   For some reason - doing it all at once produces less ricotta.  Sounds crazy - but my friend tried & agreed.  Plus - the half batches are more manageable to dry in the cheesecloth.

DIRECTIONS

Heat half the milk & half the buttermilk in a pan.  When it just begins to bubble in the corners - turn off the heat.  Add half the salt & half the vinegar & stir.  With a slotted spoon - scoop out the curds that form until all that is left is the yellowish whey.  Alternatively - CAREFULLY pour the curdling milk through a cheesecloth-lined colander.  In either case - let it cool a bit & then wrap it up in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Repeat with the other half of the ingredients.  Unwrap the ricotta from the cheesecloth & put in a bowl & set aside (or chill).  

LASAGNA CUPCAKES

24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

2 packages of small wonton wrappers (about 2.5 inches square)

Ricotta cheese - 1 lb store-bought or the quantity from the recipe above

4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

4 large balls fresh mozzarella (preferably the sort sold in water) or 4 cups of another variation of mozzarella

4 cups pasta sauce (the recipe above or two jars)

Fresh basil

1 chopped tomato as garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375

Spray your cupcake pans with a nonstick spray.  Place a wonton into each cup - letting the corners stick up & out.  OR - use a cookie cutter & cut the wontons into circles the correct size for your tray.  Layer with a little grated Parmesan, then ricotta then sauce.  Add another wonton - putting the corners in the opposite direction the first wonton was placed and press it down on the first layer.  Add another layer of Parmesan, ricotta and sauce & top with another wonton.  I used a round-cut wonton for this top layer even if I left the corners on for the first two layers.  Top with some sauce & then press the corners of the wontons down into the sauce so the cupcakes all stay "closed."  Be sure a little sauce is covering the entire surface.  Top with a sliced disc of fresh mozzarella.

Put these in the oven & bake.  Check them at the 15 minute mark.  They should be done in between 15-18 minutes.  Remove from the oven & let sit & set & cool for five minutes.  Carefully run a knife around each cupcake & pop them out onto a serving dish.  Garnish with shredded fresh basil & some chopped fresh tomatoes (if you are using them).   If you used all rounded wontons in the Neapolitan style - let sit longer than 5 minutes as this version is more smooshy & fragile.  The squared wontons look prettier - as you get a nice golden "crust" around them but both version are delicious!



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