Monday, September 19, 2011

Southwest Lasagna

I've never really been one to be that adventurous when eating out at a restaurant (of any kind). I find something I like and I get it. Every time. I'm starting to try new things as my tastes "mature" so to speak. For example, I have always hated disliked meatloaf and lasagna when my mom made it for us growing up. I'm not sure why but I think it was just because they looked so gross and messy. At any rate I've grown to love them both. Partly because they are very inexpensive meals and have lots of delicious leftovers. Also, I think they are very flavorful and the type of dish you can change almost any aspect of and it would still turn out wonderfully. Hence why I chose a lasagna theme.

I saw this recipe in an old magazine (yes, I've been digging up oldies here lately). I just had to try it because it sounded amazing. A combination of two amazing things: Mexican food and lasagna!! It turned out amazing and I even took it for leftovers my first day back to work since Camden came into our lives. It was just as tasty as when I pulled it out of the oven! You can top it with chopped lettuce, tomato and sour cream but it really doesn't need them if you don't have any on hand.

Southwest Lasagna
Adapted from: Pillsbury
Yields: 8 servings

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1lb ground beef
1 package (1.25oz) taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
1 jar tomato pasta sauce (28oz)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
9 oz frozen corn, at room temperature
2 tsp ground cumin
1 container ricotta cheese (15oz)
1 can chopped green chiles (4.5oz)
2 eggs
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F and place a large, rimmed cookie sheet on the rack below middle oven rack. Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with cooking spray (use a deep dish if you have one). Cook and drain lasagna noodles per package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain well.

Meanwhile, cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until brown. Drain and return to pan. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Sauce should be thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce, beans, corn, and cumin. Cook about 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until heated throughout.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta, chiles and eggs.

To assemble lasagna, arrange 3 cooked and cooled lasagna noodles along the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Spoon and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles. Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture and then 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers topping with the cheese. Place dish on middle oven rack and bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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