Lasagna can be an intimidating recipe. Which is one reason many people never learn how to make lasagna. There are many way to make this traditionally Italian dish, including an all vegetable variety. Do you want to use wheat or gluten free ingredients? Perhaps you prefer a white sauce to ricotta or cottage cheese! How you make lasagna will depend on all of these factors and many more.
Different Lasagna Types
Did you know you could make a lasagna dish with rice? The next time you are out of noodles, have no fear, that bag of brown rice in the cabinet will make an excellent substitute. Simply cook the rice to package specifications and then layer the rice in place of noodles. Not only is this an easy alternative, it is a bit healthier as well.
Cook ground beef, sausage, onion, and garlic in a heavy Dutch oven or large skillet if necessary. Once meat is no longer pink, add in tomato sauce, paste and crushed tomatoes as well as sugar, basil, salt, pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or so stirring infrequently.
Grease large baking dish, 9×13 inch. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and begin layering ingredients. Many people begin with either noodles or meat sauce. Alternate noodles, ricotta cheese, meat sauce mixture and shredded mozzarella. Last layer should end in mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes with tin foil, bake additional 25 minutes without foil, then allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.
The Appeal of Mexican Lasagna
Although lasagna is an Italian dish rather than a Mexican one, the Mexicans have their own version of this delicious comfort food. Mexican lasagna is an interpretation of lasagna using south of the border ingredients. Known as “Budin Azteca” (which roughly translates as Aztec pudding), Mexican lasagna can feature beef or chicken.
Other typical ingredients in Mexican lasagna recipes are Monterey Jack cheese or a Mexican cheese blend, sour cream, chilies, salsa, cilantro, and corn tortillas. Sometimes flour tortillas are used in place of the corn ones, and if you want to make a traditional lasagna with a subtle Mexican flavor you can use pasta noodles.
Other Ways to Make This Delicious Dish
If you want a very subtle taste of Mexico, you can just change a couple of the ingredients in an authentic Italian lasagna recipe to give you the desired results. Perhaps you can swap the oregano and parsley for cilantro and a pinch of chili powder, or another idea is to swap the tomato sauce for salsa and the mozzarella for Monterey Jack cheese.
Mexican recipes are very appealing and, like lasagna, they are typically made with fresh ingredients. This is why lasagna is dear to Mexican hearts, and why there are plenty of mouthwatering Mexican lasagna recipes to choose from, ranging from Italian style lasagna with a subtle Mexican taste to the full-blown Budin Azteca recipe.