Here in the Recipe Shed, we like to walk the fine line between genius and insanity and this Spicy Latin Lasagne is nothing short of insanely genius. Its a hybrid of a Mexican chilli con carne and a traditional Italian lasagne. And instead of Bechamel sauce, you replace it with one made with nutty Spanish Manchego cheese. Ive also added Tuscan kale to the filling, but you could use any dark green leaf, such as spinach.
Make sure you layer and layer and layer. Thats the secret. This version is quite dry, so it works fantastically for packed lunches, but if you prefer a wetter texture, dont reduce the mince beef mix so much.
2 tbsp olive oil
500g lean minced beef
Half onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can borlotti beans
250ml beef stock
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper
200g Manchego cheese
300ml double cream
8-10 sheets lasagne pasta (I used homemade, but shop-bought is fine just follow the pack instructions)
Knob of butter
16-20 flat Tuscal kale leaves, or large spinach leaves, stalks trimmed
1. Add 1 tbsp oil to a large frying pan over a medium heat and brown the mince all over, approx. 5 mins. Drain the mince and set aside. Wipe the pan clean. Add the other tbsp of oil to the pan and gently cook the onions and garlic until soft, approx. 6-7 mins.
2. Add the tomatoes, beans, stock, oregano and spices to the pan and stir through. Bring to the boil and return the mince to the pan. Stir through, then transfer to a slow cooker set on LOW. Cook for 3-4 hours until the mince is tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat the double cream in a small saucepan and add the cheese. Gently heat until the cheese has melted.
4. Layer up the lasagne you want lots of layers. Use a deep baking dish and butter the bottom. Add a sheet of lasagne, then a layer of mince-beans mixture. Cover with a layer of pasta, then add a layer of kale or spinach. Continue the layers mince, pasta, kale, pasta etc until youve used up all the ingredients.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Pour over the Manchego sauce and cover with tin foil.
6. Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins, until the cheese is bubbling and the top is lightly golden. Serve with green salad.