- Meat Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 whole cloves
- One 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound mild Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Ricotta Filling:
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/3 cup mango chutney
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 package wonton wrappers (at least 48)
- 12 whole small fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
For the meat sauce: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the whole cloves and cinnamon stick, and remove after a few minutes. Add the garlic and onions, sprinkle with a little salt and saute until softened but not browned.
Add the sausage, breaking up the clumps with your spoon. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, as well as some salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then. Allow the meat sauce to cool, about 15 minutes, before building lasagna cupcakes. As the meat sauce is cooking, prepare the ricotta filling.
For the ricotta filling: Stir together the mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta and mango chutney. Season with salt and lots of pepper, about a teaspoon, and set aside.
To assemble the cupcakes: Pull out your favorite cupcake pan. If your pan is not nonstick, spray the cups with cooking spray. Place a wonton wrapper in each cup. Don't worry if you're using square ones.
Drop about 1 teaspoon of meat sauce into the bottom of each cup. Then add 1 teaspoon of ricotta filling. Then cover with another wonton wrapper, rotating it about 90-degrees so that the corners of the first wrapper and the second wrapper aren't right on top of each other. Repeat this until you've built three layers total. Top each with a small basil leaf, then another wonton wrapper. Finish each cupcake with a spoonful of meat sauce, a little shredded mozzarella and pinch of grated Parmesan.
Pop them into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. When time's up, resist the temptation to eat them right away or else you'll burn your mouth! Let them rest on the counter for about 10 minutes, and they should slip out of the muffin tin easily. Top with more shredded basil if you like.
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira