I’m revisiting my most popular post of all time: Petite Lasagnas. They caught fire in November 2010 and even now, six months later, I still hear from readers who love them. I say we celebrate those lasagna onesies with a throwback post. Shall we?
One morning, years ago, as I was driving my youngest sister, C, to school, I looked in the rear view mirror and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She thought it through. As thoroughly as one can do at 7:15 am.
I thought too.
Mostly about her as a baby, how I loved watching her grow up. Her toddler-age love affair with gnawing on sticks of butter. Girl after my own heart.
What does someone who, yesterday, was dressed as a Teletubby, want to do with her life? I lowered the volume on the radio, heaven forbid the Pussycat Dolls influence her career contemplation.
She looked down, examined her blue polish, looked up, and squarely said, “a forensic scientist.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say.
Perhaps something more in sync with seventh grade. Probably something more along the lines of what I, in my early twenties, was dreaming to be: a singer. I flashed forward to me touring the world, writing songs, singing my little heart out, making sure that my rider was less obscene than J.Lo’s. Just how big a mansion is too big a mansion?
Maybe C’s dream was too practical for my tastes. Too precise and mature.
Maybe I wanted her to watch less CSI and more Dawson’s Creek.
Be like Joey Potter.
Whatever she did, I just didn’t want her to grow up. I hoped she’d stay young and idealistic forever. Put Now and Then on repeat and Sugar Sugar on an endless loop.
I’ve never wanted to grow up.
Even when being older would have been a one way ticket to paradise, I wanted to stay squarely in sixteen.
Maybe all kids who grow up fast and are adults before their time idealize the same forever youth.
We should all build a commune, live like the Brady’s we always wished we were. Dibs on Marsha.
Petite lasagnas walk the line between growing up and staying a kid. They let me fancy bitty things, to enjoy lasagna without the hassle of a full pan. They also let me make a meal as nourishing and satisfying as my Nana would have. Mini but mature.
You grow up being fed and then you become the feeder.
It’s beautiful, really.
The sense of satisfaction that comes from making others smile.
Maybe cooking has become my singing. The chance to express myself and affect others, only in a less obscene and narcissistic way.
If I had my druthers, I’d cook in sequined mini dresses and set up spotlights in my kitchen, paint the walls dayglo at the very least. That way I’ll feel like I thought I would at 26: a superstar singer…with a cupcake tin.
recipe slightly adapted from Hungry Girl
12 oz raw ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano, divided
1 tsp dried basil
1 ½ cups part skim ricotta cheese
24 small square wonton wrappers (the kind near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the produce department)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat and saute the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
Add the crushed tomatoes and 2 tsp of oregano. Bring the pan to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, a pinch of salt and pepper, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and the basil. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides.
Using half of the ricotta mixture, divide it among the 12 muffin cups. Next, using half of the turkey tomato sauce, spoon it evenly over each of the ricotta filled cups. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of mozzarella.
Gently press another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer.
Repeat the process by distributing the remaining ricotta, then the remaining tomato sauce, and finally the rest of the shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Let the cups cool, remove them from the pan, and serve!
Nutrition Info for 1 petite lasagna: Calories: 181.2, Total Fat: 7.9g, Cholesterol: 41.9mg, Sodium: 389.5mg, Total Carb: 13.6g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1.6g, Protein 14.1g
I love that you adapted this from Hungry girl!! She is one of my favorites :)They look delicious!!
Mmm… looks amazing! They’re so cute and perfectly portioned, gotta make them asap!
Cute story. Who wants to grow up anyway! Hang on to your youth and do what fulfills your heart.
Can’t remember the lasagnas but they sure look tasty :)
I am sooooo hungry now :D
hello andrea! this was the very first recipe i ever tried from your blog. i found it on stumbleupon and ive never looked back. these are genius! keep up being awesome.
Won Ton Wrappers huh? I never would have guessed…in fact I didn’t, I read through the entire post looking for what you had used…wonton wrappers. I’m not complaining I like wonton wrappers.
my kids aren’t big fans of pasta but they are big fans of having their typical food served in a unique way. I’ve all but written off lasagna but perhaps if I try it this way, the kids will think it’s “fun enough” to actually eat it.
Glad you posted this again because now I want to make it! I love how you compare cooking to singing…. I think cooking for people brings them more joy than any concert ever could!
Oh wow, you have just reminded me of some of my favourite childhood things… Teletubbies (yep, super sad), Now and Then (still love that movie!), the Brady Bunch, Dawson’s Creek…. and lasagnas. These look amazing!!
Omg Now & Then was like totally my favorite movie ever.
(And also these look deeelish!)
Oh my goodness!! These are absolutely charming! I love single portion sized dishes! So perfect for freezing–a grad student’s staple!
These sorta remind me of Bagel Bites. Which I love. Forever and always. Because you just can’t shake a childhood food crush. These would be so great for a party!
These are just the cutest! I love the idea of using wonton wrappers instead of lasagna noodles. Yum!
I never saw the original post for this! These look amazing!!! It’s an interesting choice to use wonton wrappers. I bet that reduces the calories quite a bit. Great recipe!
That is the best idea ever – because really – who needs an entire pan of lasagna?
These are the cutest things ever! What a great idea for a dinner party!
So, what did your sister grow up to be? Or is she still in school? I was waiting for the outcome at the end of the post!
I’ve made these lasagnas and they are delicious! :D
I made these this weekend for the first time for a group of 10 people we had over to our house. They are PHENOMENAL. Every one gave rave reviews and couldn’t wait to make it for themselves. I love love love them.
Ok – can I just say how much I love you for mentioning where to FIND the wonton wrappers? The sole reason I’ve never made anything with them is because I can never find them.
Have you heard Taylor Swift’s song Never Grow Up? You totally reminded me of it with this post.
What I would do for cheese right now..probably just about anything. Yummy, melty goodness. But, oh yeah I’m “loving” this raw vegan diet I’m on for 90% of my day, everyday…except i have a headache today. so its even MORE tempting to eat something melty and delicious with maybe a gluten-filled crust? Sigh
These are so cute, I love how small they are. I could eat like 4 and be a happy girl ;)
I made these on Saturday for a small get together – they were a huge hit with adults and kids alike!
Read this post two hours ago, salivated, hit the local grocery store, unpacked ingredients, popped open a cold Corona, and in 10 minutes, these will be made.
These look amazing and perfect to take to a get-together! I’m want to try a gluten free version of these!
These little babies look to die for! Thanks for sharing. I love the HG recipes that use the Wonton wrappers but they end up going bad before I can get to them. Do you ever make it to the East side of the state? Like Pullman? If so, be sure to let me know! :)
*SIGH*…can I be you when I grow up?? Love this post…the sisterly love and memories…the adorably delicious mini-lasagna…and the perfection of your writing.
Amazing! Sooooo on my list :)
Cutest lasagna everrrr, still loving these! They definitely deserve a round 2 post :)
They are mini so they must be good for you. Adorbs!
These are gorgeous!
I remember having the same thoughts about my little sister. She’s graduating high school in a couple of weeks, and I think I’m still in denial. (Luckily for me, she was never really into Teletubbies)
Umm….are you a genius? Yes you are. I love LOVE LOVE mini things and I really love anything mini. Actually, I just really love how freaking creative you are. *sigh* I wish I had such gusto in the kitchen!
Er, and you want help with your photography, why, exactly??!!
Lovely post. You got it goin’ on, girl.
I love the story about you and your sister! I have a younger sister too (by 7 years), and it reminded me of her. And that petite lasagna looks amazing! I am hungry for dinner already!
they look so fun! how cute. must try. thanks for sharing.
Oh dear. I can’t wait to try these. Are they still healthy if you eat all 12? Because I have a feeling that’s what I’ll do. Yum.
The boy has been nagging me to make lasagna, so maybe I’ll make these adorable minis instead. I might be more accomodating with his requests if I could make adorably teeny versions like this :)
Saw these on Pinterest, and made them tonight! So delicous! Thank you!
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I tried these last week and loved them! They are not only cute, but so delicious!
I subbed cottage cheese for ricotta though.
Stumbled this recipe as well as posted it on my blog!
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Made these last night – absolutely WONDERFUL!! What a great idea with the muffin tins; cut the cook time way down. And everyone knows the worst part about lasagna is waiting for it to be ready! ;)
Thanks for your beautifully designed website!
Love love love this idea! Made them tonight and they were delish!
Would it be possible to par bake the bottom layer before filling it so it gets a little crispy? after baking for 15 minutes i took them out and the outside was a little gummy.
I made these the other night and they were soooo good! They were the perfect size and great the next day for lunch too. This recipe is a keeper!
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This is perfect! I needed something for a potluck that I could put together quickly and then freeze because I’m going to be out of town for a few days before the potluck. I think I even have all the ingredients in the house!
I tried them…well mine are different, but I kept the concept. Here
I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it tonight (well, my version with the ingredients I had) and it was really good. I also ended up reading a lot of your weight loss story too. I’m so inspired. I have about 12 more pounds to lose to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had gained 44 pounds and really needed to lose about that much before I got pregnant, which equals 56-ish pounds that I would like to lose. Mostly I want to learn to cook healthier for myself, my husband and our son (when he starts eating). Anyways, just wanted to say I love your blog!
These were sooooo good, I have a potluck on Friday and I am sooo making these!!!
MAJOR hit with my two-year-old…he couldn’t stop laughing!
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Came here for the recipe, loved the story. Thank you for both.
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