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Lasagna at a cocktail party

j
jromann Jan 25, 2011 09:30 AM

I want to serve a butternut squash lasagna at a cocktail party. Has anyone ever served lasanga at a cocktail party. If so, how did you do it? Any creative ideas?

  1. r
    rednails Jan 25, 2011 09:52 AM

    I love butternut squash and love lasagna, but to me, they are dinner items, not to be served at a cocktail party. Cocktail party fare (again, to me) implies small bites, not hearty food. I'd find a way to make the lasagna bite-size, perhaps in mini muffin cups. It might be more labor intensive, but doable. Present them on a small platter with some garnish and you're good to go.

    1. tatertot Jan 25, 2011 09:53 AM

      How about lasagna made in cupcake tins?
      http://framed-mylifeonepictureatatime...

      3 Replies
      1. re: tatertot
        r
        rednails Jan 25, 2011 10:10 AM

        That's exactlly what I envisioned, but I'd still make them smaller. Regular cupcake size would be too big (to me).

        1. re: rednails
          j
          jromann Jan 25, 2011 10:17 AM

          so a mini mufiin tin? seems like a good size but might be difficult to work with. i'll have to give it a try

          1. re: jromann
            r
            rednails Jan 25, 2011 12:21 PM

            Mini muffin tin--exactly. Or as suggested below, mini squares, but only if they don't seep out the sides. Mini triangles would work too, but again only if they don't seep.

            I plan many receptions every year for clients and try to steer them towards what works for the function. Cocktail party does not suggest messy food or large portions. i.e. if the client wants pulled pork sandwiches, then mini rolls, not the standard size. Ditto on dessert--tartlets (no more than 2" in size) rather than full size. I've done individual mac n cheese in disposable foil tins; that may be another option, to find mini foil tins rather than a mini muffin pan.

      2. darklyglimmer Jan 25, 2011 10:00 AM

        What if you deconstructed it, wrapping the lasagna filling in the cooked noodles? I'm picturing something that looks sort of like sushi. Not sure how you'd deal with the bare noodle thing, though; that doesn't sound particularly appetizing . . . maybe if you made the rolls, sliced them and then cooked them in a muffin tin, so the edges got crispy?

        Mind you, I've never done anything like this - I'm just hypothesizing.

        1. e
          escondido123 Jan 25, 2011 10:20 AM

          How about turning it into squash and ricotta ravioli? You can make those bite size.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123
            j
            jaykayen Jan 25, 2011 10:58 AM

            I like this idea.

          2. c
            CocoTO Jan 25, 2011 10:41 AM

            I always find that my homemade lasagna is not messy the next day ... easy to slice and reheat, as all the liquids have been absorbed. So for finger food, I would make a large pan the day before, let cool and refrigerate over night and then slice the next day into small squares and reheat just before serving.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CocoTO
              JungMann Jan 25, 2011 10:55 AM

              This is along the lines I was thinking. For dramatic effect, these squares could be served in Chinese soup spoons.

              1. re: JungMann
                j
                jromann Jan 25, 2011 11:03 AM

                Easier than muffin tins and chinese soup spoons make it fancy! I like it!

            2. n
              nemo Jan 25, 2011 12:01 PM

              I've always lamented the fact that there isn't a medium-sized shell pasta, like maybe the size of a halved golf ball. Maybe there is, but I haven't found it. It would be perfect for one spoonful things for exactly this kind of setting.

              You could pipe the mixture into cooked rigatoni and serve on the excellently suggested Chinese soup spoons, or even regular soup spoons on a tray with an edge high enough to keep them flat. I have a recipe for a chicken mousse that's piped into rigatoni, then baked in a cream sauce. PITA so I've only made it a couple of times, but I know it can be done.

              Also there's a pasta shape called Campanelle which I can easily find in my grocery store. It's a lily sort of flower shape that you could pipe into, but it wouldn't hold much filling.

              7 Replies
              1. re: nemo
                j
                jromann Jan 25, 2011 12:10 PM

                Piping into rigatoni is great idea but what I do about the all the parts of the lasagna, squash mixture, bechemal sauce, mozz cheese?

                1. re: jromann
                  n
                  nemo Jan 25, 2011 12:48 PM

                  Yeah, I may have been reaching. My thought was to pipe the squash puree into the rigatoni, line up in a baking dish slightly apart, pour the bechamel over, sprinkle with mozz. Or sprinkle mozz, then pour the white sauce over and bake. Might be too tedious or messy to plate, or spoon as it were.

                  Just wanted to give you a little spin to think about.

                2. re: nemo
                  m
                  Mayor of Melonville Jan 25, 2011 12:13 PM

                  There is a large pasta shape called conchiglioni which is specifically made to be stuffed.

                  1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                    j
                    jromann Jan 25, 2011 12:25 PM

                    can you layer in that?

                    1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                      r
                      rednails Jan 25, 2011 12:26 PM

                      I like the idea of stuffing a large shell, that would work really well.

                      1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                        n
                        nemo Jan 25, 2011 12:31 PM

                        Thanks, Your Honor! I Googled the conchiglioni, but that seems like the really big shell that you can find in the grocery store. I've been looking for something that would cook up to about 1-1/4" after boiling but before stuffing.

                      2. re: nemo
                        chef chicklet Jan 25, 2011 03:13 PM

                        or, how about cooking the cannoli shells, cutting them in half and doing exactly what you say with the piping thing. Someone mentioned something about the second day that they're not as saucey. This is true, the pasta absorbs the sauce, and of course you can adjust for that. I love butternut squash ravioli and traditional lasagna, so good. This could work.
                        You guys amaze me.

                      3. e
                        escondido123 Jan 25, 2011 12:34 PM

                        I assume you are going to use handmade pasta sheets? I would think regular ones would be too fat for any layering.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: escondido123
                          Jay F Jan 25, 2011 12:55 PM

                          Use handmade pasta. Make a roll with your pureed, flavored squash, bechamel and parmigiano-reggiano. Wrap it in cheesecloth, poach it, remove from water, chill; slice it the next day.

                          You need to test this before you serve it. It might not work as a passed hors d'oeuvre. It's a good buffet thing, i.e., plate and fork, but it might be too messy as something to pass.

                          Someone suggested ravioli. I think that would be too flat and wide to pass, but if you can make tortelloni with a filling that's dense enough, you can pass them with a skewer through each, at least theoretically.

                          You MUST test these things first.

                          Alternative: is there someone you can pay who makes tortelloni, and would do it with the filling you specify?

                        2. chowser Jan 25, 2011 12:43 PM

                          You could do a cupcake lasagna w/ won ton wrappers:

                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dw...

                          1. Kagemusha Jan 25, 2011 03:39 PM

                            Have used smallish ramekins for "shots" of various dishes. Easy to keep warm in a water bath for serving.

                            1. breadchick Jan 25, 2011 04:04 PM

                              Maybe you could make butternut squash polenta mini-cakes? Top with a slice of sausage that has slow cooked in your tomato sauce so it's moist with the sauce, and then top with cheese?

                              Just a idea., but it might be good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: breadchick
                                meatn3 Jan 25, 2011 06:41 PM

                                This has a lot of potential. Sounds delicious and I think it would be simpler to pull it off.

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