VEGETARIAN LASAGNA MINIS

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For me, it’s all about the corner piece.  That crunchy, gooey, crispy awesomeness can be had by everyone at the table, not just a lucky four, when you bake them in a muffin tin at high heat.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can do it with any type of lasagna.  And if you just want to make an old fashioned lasagna, this recipe works great as well. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

1 pound lasagna sheets

6 Italian sausages, fresh (optional)

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

8 ounces spinach

2 cans artichoke hearts

8 ounces ricotta

8 ounces mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup parm, grated

1 recipe tomato sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle position.

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna sheets until al dente.  Cut into thirds, crosswise.

If using sausage, push the sausage out of the casings and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat,  cook the sausage until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Remove the sausage, but keep the fat in the pan.

If not using sausage, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and then spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and cook, stirring frequently, until all spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a mesh strainer and press against spinach to remove as much liquid as possible.

Grease a muffin tin with olive oil, and layer one square of pasta.  Add a small amount of the sausage, spinach and onions, ricotta, mozzarella, and tomato sauce.  Add the other layer of pasta, repeat with the ingredients, top with a third square of pasta and then finish with a little sauce, mozzarella, and park.  Do this for the entire muffin tin.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes until the tops are bubbly.  Serve warm, refrigerate, or freeze and store for a time when you need a quick snack.

INGREDIENTS (SAUCE)

6 large tomatoes

6 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch basil

DIRECTIONS

Simply Blanche your fresh tomatoes till they are slightly soft either in boiling water or on a sheet pan in a hot oven and then run them through the food mill on the tiniest hole. The holes need to be small enough that no seeds will go through. After straining bring up some virgin olive oil with whole cloves of garlic in a pot big enough to hold all the tomatoes and cook till the garlic is golden brown all around. Add the strained tomatoes a whole bunch of basil tied together with string and cook till slightly thick remove and chill (lasts 3 weeks in fridge and 3 months in freeezer).