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Anna Maria DiDio
Bestselling Adoption & Children's Book Author

Our Family “Latin” (mostly Mexican) Lasagna

There are many versions of this recipe. I came up with this one after taking stock of what I usually have in my pantry. You may substitute based on your personal taste. Just have fun combining your Italian and Mexican/Latin  instincts!

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Ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ground cumin (divided)

2 tablespoons chili powder (divided)

1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes 

½ cup prepared salsa plus a dash or two

1 cup frozen corn kernels (optional)

2 cups shredded Monterey jack, pepper jack, mozzarella or cheddar cheese divided

15 oz ricotta cheese (cottage cheese could be added for extra moisture)

6 ounces raw Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 to 6 ripe black-skinned plantains, peeled, halved horizontally and thinly sliced lengthwise - optional (cook ahead in oil until golden brown on each side. Drain excess then cool and press to flatten) 

1 15 oz can kidney or black beans

Cholula hot sauce to taste, green chilies to taste

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

 

Instructions
 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a 12” skillet, heat butter and add the onion and green pepper and cook until soft. Season with ½ chili powder and cumin

  3. Add chorizo and turkey. Continue to cook until both meats are brown -  8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt/pepper, the rest of the cumin, chili powder and the oregano as you brown. Drain out excess oil from the pan, if needed. Add fire roasted tomatoes and a dash of salsa

  4. Add drained/rinsed beans and corn (optional). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix half of the grated cheese and the ricotta cheese. Stir the salsa and green chilies

  6. Cook lasagna noodles very al dente. Drape partially cooked noodles over the colander so that they don’t stick together. (If you want to make an extra liquid sauce, you can even layer the dry noodles - but they need time to absorb before cooking - can be done the night before.)

  7. Layer noodles with meat/bean/tomato mixture, top with plantains if using, then top with the cheese mixture, then start over.

  8. After a few layers ending with the noodle, top with the other half of the grated cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbly, about 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.