This is the best vegetarian lasagne you’ll ever make. High praise I know, there’s nothing like setting yourself up for a fall but I really believe it. Lasagne is of those meals that hasbeen done to death, diluted and destroyed by frozen food manufacturers.
This Mexican tortilla lasagne has layers of tortillas, chargrilled veg, garlic mushrooms, sour cream, goats cheese and grated cheddar but the best thing is the red pepper sauce. It’s made from roasted red peppers, tomato, red onion and chipotle chilli sauce. It has a sweet, smoky, spicy flavour that brings the whole dish alive.
Mexican Tortilla Lasagne with Roasted Salsa Verde
Serves 6. Adapted from Anjum Anand
Prep time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 50-55 mins
For the Red Pepper Sauce:
Blend the drained peppers, tomato puree, chipotle sauce, sugar, cumin & Worcestershire sauce in a food processor until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onions and a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the processor with the red pepper sauce and blend again. Season with salt & black pepper and taste.
Pour this back into the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until reduced slightly and thickened. Add a few splashes of stock or water to loosen to a thick creamy sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the Lasagne:
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add in the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until browning. Reduce the heat, season with salt & black pepper, thyme & oregano. Cook for a minute then cover with lid. Cook for another 2 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
Push the mushrooms to one side of the pan, add another tbsp olive oil to the other side and fry the chopped garlic in the oil for 1 or 2 minutes until starting to colour. Them mix the garlic and mushrooms together, cook for a minute then set aside.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush all the veg on both sides with olive oil, then cook for 1-2 minutes per side in batches until all the veg is cooked. Season with salt & black pepper.
Place two tortillas, overlapping slightly in the bottom of a lasagne dish, trim to fit if necessary. Spread over 3-4 tbsp of the red pepper sauce then scatter over a third of the chargrilled veg then a third of the mushrooms. Spread over 3-4 tbsp of the sour cream then crumble over a third of the goats cheese followed by a third of the grated cheese. Repeat this two more times then top with a final layer of tortillas and spread with the red sauce.
Scatter over another handful of grated cheese then cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is browned & bubbling.
Cut into 6 squares and serve with salsa verde and/or guacamole.
For the Roasted Salsa Verde:
Preheat oven to 200 C. Put the tomato and onion wedges on a lined baking sheet along with the whole chillis and garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt & black pepper.
Roast for 15 mins then remove the garlic & chillis and set aside to cool. Put the rest back in the oven for about 25 minutes until the tomatoes and onions have softened and slightly browned.
Peel or squeeze the garlic out of their skins into a food processor. Remove the stalks from the chillis (and seeds if you don’t want it hot) and put them in the processor too.
When the tomatoes & onions are done tip them into the processor too and blend until smooth. Add the lime juice, fresh coriander, sugar, salt & pepper. Blend again and taste. You may want to add more lime/salt/sugar (or avocado if you like it milder). Add a little water to loosen it if you like it smoother and more liquid.
For the guacamole:
Pour the lime juice over the avocado in the bowl straight away to stop it turning brown. Add all the other ingredients and either mash with a fork, cut roughly with a knife in the bowl, (for chunky) blend with a stick blender ( for smooth) or bash in a mortar and pestle until you get your preferred consistency. Taste and adjust lime, salt to taste.
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