Nigella's Mexican Lasagne

Serve with nachos, guacamole, salsa and Greek yoghurt

Nigella’s Mexican Lasagne serves six to eight people but it’s so delicious that I could have happily eaten the entire thing. Don’t be put off by the title, the only resemblance this dish has with lasagne is the layers of filling and a lovely cheesy topping. I know this is a recipe I will return to again and again; it's up there with fajitas, burritos, tacos and my favourite, enchiladas.

I made a slight amendment to the recipe in Nigella’s Kitchen by halving the amount of sweetcorn used and replacing it with finely chopped mushrooms. While the sweetcorn adds a nice, subtle flavour and a bit of bite, I’d rather the dish wasn’t swimming in it.

A useful tip from the book is to add salt to the onions while they are cooking. This makes the onions release water so that they won’t brown. Finally, I didn’t have a round ovenproof dish so I used a cake tin instead.

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Sauce

  • 1 tbs garlic oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 bird's-eye chilis, finely chopped (seeds)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs coriander stalks, chopped
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml water (swilled from the tomato cans)
  • 1 tbs Tomato ketchup

Filling

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (800g total)
  • 2 cans sweetcorn (450g total when drained)
  • 250g mature cheese, grated
  • 1 pack tortillas (8 pieces)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Put the garlic oil into a saucepan and place on a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onions, pepper, chilli and salt. Cook for around 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped coriander stalks and give everything a good stir.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and the water swilled out from the tomato cans, stir, then leave to simmer for around 10 minutes.
  5. Mix the drained black beans, sweetcorn and the majority of the cheese in a large bowl.
  6. Spoon around a third of the sauce evenly into the bottom of a round ovenproof dish. Although it wasn't specified in Nigella's method, I put a small amount of the bean mixture in at this stage.
  7. Place two tortillas over the sauce so that they are overlapping like a Venn diagram (see the image above).
  8. Add around a third of the bean mixture on to the tortillas then add a quarter of the remaining sauce and spread everything out evenly.
  9. Add another two tortillas, this time in the opposite direction to the previous two tortillas.
  10. Repeat the layer of beans and sauce then add another two tortillas changing their orientation once more.
  11. Add all of the remaining beans to the last layer, most of the sauce (reserve a little for the top) and the final two tortillas.
  12. Tip the rest of the sauce onto the tortillas and top with the grated cheese.
  13. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the cheese has browned then remove from the oven and allow the lasagne to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

The remaining coriander leaves can be used to make homemade salsa.

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