Hola Amigos and Welcome Friday! Hope you all had a healthy and productive first week of March! Big change this weekend...Spring Forward, yeah we loose 1 hour of sleep but on the positive side, we are gaining 1 hour of daylight to have more fun outdoors working and playing with family and friends.
I'm closing my week with a Latin twist on an Italian classic, Lasagna. It's basically your favorite lasagna recipe but instead of using noodles you will use ripe plantains!
I love Plantains...they are super versatile and you can use them in every single stage, green, yellow, spotted with black dots and black! They are delicious. A few Sundays ago I had the honor of being guest blogger at my friend Cynthia's blog Fedding Big and More, there I wrote a post just about plantains and how to cook them in all these stages I mentioned before as part of her fantastic series Around The World in 80 Sundays focusing on Panamanian Cuisine. I encourage you my dear friends to visit her blog and this post to learn more about Plantains.
Here is our recipe
Lasagna de Platano Maduro-Plantain Lasagna
1 Pound Ground Sirloin
1 Pound Ground Pork
1 Large onion chopped
2 Garlic chopped
1 can (6oz) Tomato paste
1 Large can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 bottle of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
2 Dried Bay leaves
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 TPBS Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Red Pepper Flakes to Taste
On the biggest pot you have, on medium heat, brown sirloin, pork, onion and garlic. Once browned, add tomato paste, roasted tomatoes spaghetti sauce, sugar, italian seasoning, salt and pepper, bay leaves and pepper flakes. Cover and Simmer for 45 minutes.
1 Stick of butter
4 TBSP flour
4 Cups Milk
1 Tsps Salt
1/2 Tsps freshly grated Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese.
On a saucepan on low-medium heat your basic roux adding the flour to the melted butter until the mix turns to a golden color . Little by little add the milk one cup at the time, whisking it so it won't stick to the bottom of your saucepan, add the cheese and keep whisking until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and grated nutmeg.
1 16oz Container of Cottage Cheese
1 pound Mozzarella Cheese + 1 cup
2 CupsSpinach Leaves washed and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
Add the cheeses to a bowl, stir in the egg. Mix until the egg is incorporated to the cheese mix. Add Spinach and salt and pepper to taste.
6-8 Black Spotted or all Black Plantains
The plantains peel very easily as I'm showing you here, cut them in an angle so you have like little diamond shaped thin slices as you can also see in the pictures.
Assemble your lasagna as you would a regular one, a little bit of meat sauce, in this case plantains instead of noodles, more meat sauce, bechamel sauce and cheese mix. Another layer of plantains, meat sauce, bechamel and cheese mix. Top it with the extra cup of mozzarella cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees covered for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes. Let it cool before cutting and serving.
Serve it with a green salad or a slice or your favorite garlic bread.
I know this is not your typical quick fixing recipe...but you can enjoy it all weekend long with plenty leftover for any other day of the week.
The amount ingredients given in this recipe will make a regular 9x13 lasagna baking pan. I divided mine in two small ones so I can freeze one and use at a later day!
As you can see...it slices just like your regular lasagna, and believe me folks it's delicious!
I hope you enjoy my little treat today and maybe make this recipe for your family and friends one of these weekends, they would love it, even more because as you know everything tastes better with a Pinch of Love!