Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
12 Lasagna Noodles - 1 standard noodle per cupcake (you'll cut them in half)
8 oz block Mozzarella Cheese, shredded might have worked better
1 can tomato paste
12 meatballs - by all means, make your own, or just pull some out of the freezer
Basic Kitchen Stuff
Step 2: Prep the Noodles
While they're cooking cut squares of parchment paper that work as muffin pan liners. I was able to get three squares across on my roll.
Also slice up some of the mozzarella, you'll need it to be in pieces small enough to drop into the bottoms of the cups.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Step 3: Turn the Noodles Into Cupcakes
Put a little olive oil on the parchment paper. You don't really need to do this, but it adds a nice flavor and a bit of that greasy pizza vibe.
Place one piece of noodle diagonally across a piece of parchment paper. Push that into the cup. Place the other half of that noodle into it at a right angle to the first. Look at the picture, you want them to make an X that will hold all of the filling goodness.
Repeat with the rest of the noodles. It will be kind of messy and chaotic but it will all come together soon enough.
Step 4: Prep the Filling
Add the tomato paste and hearty dose of italian seasoning. Heat this some more until the paste is hot.
Step 5: Fill the Cupcakes
Put in a meatball.
Repeat until all of the cups are done this far.
Most of the tomato paste should still be in the container you heated it in. Add water and stir until it's more like a very thick spaghetti sauce. Thin sauce will escape, you want this just moist enough to be pleasant to eat.
Divide up this sauce between all of the cupcakes.
Top with more cheese.
Step 6: Fold Them Closed
Step 7: Bake
Next time I'm planning 15 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered.
Step 8: Serving and a Few Notes
In retrospect I would make a few changes. I would definitely bake them longer, and, as I said in the baking step, cover them with foil for part of the time. I could have let my filling me a bit wetter, the noodles really held together well. I can also think of a ton of different fillings (this was just what was already around). I'll be trying a spinach and ricotta blend topped in tomato sauce next.
If I was going to make these for a special occasion I would probably make my own pasta and custom cut it to fit perfectly. I would also try harder to not get tomato sauce on the outsides.
I made a very filling dinner out of 4 of these. I could have gotten by with 3, but they were awesome enough that I might have been willing to stuff myself with more than 4, but I was nice and shared instead :-)