Mexican Lasagna

Once again this recipe was first published by Nigella Lawson in Kitchen. It was always one of those recipes I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try but looked easy enough. I first made this in December. Mum was in hospital and I needed to make dinner for the rest of the week, without any preparation what so ever as I would go straight to the hospital from work. It was one of the recipes I selected because it could be made in advance, or alternatively looked like it would taste fine, if cooked and then reheated. It was a success, and made it quite regularly in a 3 month period.

I hadn’t made it in a while. I associate this dinner, along with African Drumsticks from the same book with that period. For anyone who has had a loved one in hospital would know the struggles, the trauma, the stress that stems from the worry. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. I was also, trying to deal with a new job, and new responsibilities. I was fortunate to work for such an understanding employer (and I will be forever grateful to my manager for understanding and support).

Why is this important to this post? Because the post had been sitting in the drafts for quite a while. I photographed most of the images in January. I was about to leave for Hobart for 5 days and I needed to ensure there was dinner. I made this, knowing it would be filling for more than one meal. I never posted as I didn’t photograph the cooked lasagna. Then the recipe became a road block. It’s simple recipe but every-time I thought of making it, it seemed too difficult. So here I am, overcoming one such road block.

The Mexican lasagna is rewarding. It’s hearty and filling without requiring a lot of effort. It can be assembled the day before and left in the fridge (a step which I believe improved the flavour). It’s also excellent the next day and reheated.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • Oil
  • One Onion
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Stalks chopped corriander
  • 2x 400g diced/chopped/peeled tomatoes
  • 400 ml water that should be swirled around the used tomato cans for flavour
  • Chili to taste
Filling Ingredients:
  • 400g Beans*
  • 450-500g Canned Sweetcorn
  • Shredded Cheese
  • 8 Soft Tortillas
* The recipe only uses Black beans. I however use whatever beans I have in the house and this has included, Cannellini, Mixed Beans, Chickpeas and Butter beans.

 Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, and fry the onion, pepper and chili. Add the salt and cook until soft (around 15 minutes). Add the chopped coriander
The pot you see in the background is boiling pasta sauce.

2. Add the tomatoes and water and allow to cook. Nigella recommends 10 minutes. I recommend longer, to remove the raw tomato taste. As the sauce thickens feel free to add more water. I probably cooked it for 20-25 minutes. The result is well worth the additional cooking time. If you leave it at ten minutes, you might as well have just added tomato paste to the tortillas.

The filling

3. Drain and rinse the beans and the corn and mix them along with most of the cheese in a bowl.

4. Assemble the lasagna by placing a small bit of sauce on the bottom. Place a tortilla and add sauce, followed by beans and a bit of cheese. Repeat this process until you reach the top of your dish, as below.

5. To finish place a final tortilla, and spread some sauce before finishing with cheese.

6. To cook, cover with foil and cook in a 200C preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

As mentioned earlier the lasagna can be assembled the day before and left in the fridge. I think this only benefits the taste.

Enjoy!


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