|onion — small, chopped
|garlic — cloves, crushed
|beef mince — lean
|tomatoes — chopped
|wine — red
|fresh rosemary — finely chopped
|pasta — lasagne sheets
|cream cheese — at room temperature
|eggs — large
|cheddar cheese — grated
|parmesan cheese — finely grated
|fresh basil — to garnish
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a muffin tin generously with some cooking spray.
Heat the oil in pan until hot. Add the onions and gently sauté it over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and beef mince and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, sugar, wine, paprika and rosemary. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the tomatoes are soft. Season it to taste.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add in the pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Refresh it under cold water and keep it in there until ready to use. Combine the cream cheese, cream and eggs and whisk until smooth. Lightly season it.
Use a round cutter that is about the size of each muffin tin to cut out 36 pasta circles. You should be able to get out 3 circles per pasta sheet. There will be some extra in case some of the pasta tears while preparing it.
Start layering the cupcakes by adding a disc of pasta into each muffin tin. Add a bit of meat, then a layer of cheddar cheese and a layer of Parmesan. Reserve 180ml ( ¾ cup) of the creamy egg mixture. Divide the rest of the egg mixture between the 10 cupcakes. Add another layer of pasta, then some meat, cheddar cheese, a layer of pasta again and then the remaining egg mixture. Finish it off with a final bit of Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes until golden
Leave it to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. This will ensure that it comes out easily. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with a mixed salad.
A good friend recently told me that she always adds smoked ham to her lasagna. I tried it and loved the bit of smokiness that it added! Simply add an additional layer of smoked ham to the cupcakes for extra flavour.
Instead of Parmesan you could also use Gruyere, Pecorino or even Boerenkaas cheese. Mozzarella also works although it is much more bland in flavour.