Today’s recipe comes courtesy of the late 1990s. 1997 to be precise. July 1997 to be even more precise.
Don’t ask me how I know the month and year in question, when I couldn’t remember if I locked my front door this morning, but I just do.
Note: I may or may have not had quiet, yet intense, anxiety attacks at work today, thinking that I forgot to lock the door, and, as a result, all the criminals (from the whole world!) were going to come in and have a thief party TODAY.
Spoiler alert: the door was locked.
Mexican Lasagne is a family classic (my fam at least) and has been a favourite for all these years. The first time I had it, my Mom and her friend prepared it together and both our families shared it at my parent’s old house. My Mom’s friend and her family were moving back to Sri Lanka after they had lived in the USA for a few years. For an unknown reason, Mexican Lasagne was their farewell meal from my family.
Since that first muggy night when I first ate it, it’s been a favourite of mine. I subsequently brought the recipe with me to college, and then to Australia (when the recipe arrived in Australia, it was known as Mexican Lasanga. Upon arrival, the name changed to Lasagne. Ahh, immigration, lol.)
It’s super simple, relatively fast to prepare, and can feed a small army. In these ways, it ticks all my boxes for a perfect meal.
I proudly share it here.
- 1 package minced meat (beef or turkey)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can of undrained beans (pinto, black, kidney, any really!)
- 1 green pepper, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 small bottle of taco sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes plus, if needed, a half can of water
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of dried oregano
- A few jarred jalapeños for heat (optional)
- Small pasta (I usually use bow tie pasta, but elbow macaroni and the like also work)
- Sour cream for garnish
- Cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.
- Brown minced meat, along with the onions and garlic.
- Add beans, green pepper, diced tomatoes, water if needed, salt, oregano, jalapeños.
- Cook and drain pasta according to directions.
- Combine the pasta and the meat mixture to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
- Top with some cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to the individual portions just before serving.
I don’t have a photo, of the meal, I’m afraid, but here is a photo of the recipe in my first recipe book. I started this particular recipe book in the Fall Semester of 2002, and quickly filled it with old family standbys and other interesting recipes I came across. Several of the 52 Sunday Dinners meals will come from this book.
If you notice that the original recipe and this one don’t match completely, you are correct! That's because the above ingredients/method are the based on the latest batch I made last week. I didn't have any tomato sauce, but I did have diced tomatoes at home. The diced tomatoes were a beautiful addition and I will be doing that going forward. Also, jalapeños!! :)
PS – I don’t know why this meal is called Mexican Lasagne. I’m guessing because of the taco sauce and the noodles. Why is anything called anything?! Who cares, because this meal is just so nice!