Nigella's Mexican Lasagne recipe

Wedge of Mexican lasagne with guacamole
 

Nigella’s Mexican Lasagne might sound like an odd recipe but it's basically beans, corn, cheese and tomato sauce sandwiched between layers of tortilla and topped with more cheese. I marvel over its weight every time I lift it into the oven and rejoice when it comes out as it feeds eight and we are a household of two. Leftovers reheat brilliantly and it makes a fantastic packed lunch.

I don't have a 26cm round ovenproof dish so I cook it in a 26cm springform cake tin and because of this I leave out the 400ml of water that goes into the sauce (I've included it in the ingredients and instructions in case your container isn't loose-bottomed). I wrap a layer of foil around the base of the springform tin and put the tin on a foil lined baking tray before it goes into the oven. The lasagne leaks a little every time but it really doesn't matter (well, it did when I made it for the first time and it leaked all over my oven).

The lasagne is a formidable main meal so I don't serve anything else with it apart from guacamole, salsa and yoghurt.

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 bird's-eye chilis, finely chopped (seeds included)
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or ½ tsp fine sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp coriander stalks, chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes (800g)
  • 400ml water (swilled from the tomato cans, see intro)
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup

Filling

  • 2 tins black beans, drained and rinsed (roughly 480g when drained)
  • 2 tins sweetcorn (roughly 450g total when drained)
  • 250g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 pack tortillas (8 pieces, I use 50% wholemeal wraps)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) and put a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add 1 finely chopped onion to the saucepan and fry for a few minutes then add 1 chopped clove of garlic, 1 chopped red pepper, 2 chopped bird's eye chillis and 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes. Fry for around 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander stalks and give everything a good stir.
  3. Add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (800g) to the saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of ketchup and 400ml of water swilled out from the tomato tins (leave out the water if you're using a springform tin). Stir, then leave to simmer for around 10 minutes.
  4. Mix 2 tins of drained black beans (480g), 2 tins of sweetcorn (450g) and the majority of 250g of grated cheese in a large bowl, reserving some cheese to top the lasagne with later.
  5. Spoon around a third of the sauce evenly into the bottom of a round ovenproof dish.
  6. Place 2 tortillas over the sauce so that they are overlapping like a Venn diagram.
  7. Add around a third of the bean mixture on top of the tortillas then add a quarter of the sauce and spread everything out evenly.
  8. Add another 2 tortillas, this time in the opposite direction to the previous 2 tortillas.
  9. Add another third of the beans and more sauce then add 2 more tortillas changing their orientation once more.
  10. Add all of the remaining beans to the last layer, most of the sauce (reserve a little for the top) and the final 2 tortillas.
  11. Tip the rest of the sauce onto the tortillas and top with the grated cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the cheese has browned. Remove from the oven and allow the lasagne to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

The remaining coriander leaves can be used in homemade salsa or guacamole.