Have you ever heard about a pasta-free lasagna?
If you haven’t, we bring to you this amazing recipe that Latinos and specially Puertorican people love and call “Pastelón”, we are talking about a lasagna that uses the sweet taste of ripe plantains instead of using the traditional pasta sheets.
Before we show you how to prepare this unique recipe, you should know that as you can make a standard lasagna with chicken or meat (or both, mixed) you can also use that logic with this creative dish. Let’s cook!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
4 to 5 ripe plantains.
Tomato paste with onion pieces.
Salt and pepper.
1. Preheat your oven
You sure know this is an essential step so your dish can cook itself from inside and doesn’t finish raw on any layer, so first of all be aware to preheat your oven for a few minutes at 170°C (340°F).
2. Prepare your plantains
To make the main character of this dish, cut your plantains into very thin slices so you can fill your lasagna as full as possible, but previewing that the ones you will have as your base should be thicker so it can be stable.
3. Cook the protein
As said before, your lasagna can be filled with ground beef, chicken, or even better, BOTH OF THEM! (a mixed lasagna). So this step depends on what protein you are using for your dish.
Cook the chicken breasts in boiling water along with pepper, salt, onion, garlic, and any other spices you can adobe it with, and when it’s ready, proceed to dismantle those breasts as thin as you want them to be in your lasagna.
You got to add a béchamel sauce if making a chicken lasagna, and we are teaching you how to make an easy but perfect one, although you can make your own or use a pre-made one.
In a medium saucepan with medium-high heat, add warm milk (never add cold milk, it will spoil the sauce) and gradually include spoons of flour always stirring until you get a creamy consistency.
We must say that is very important that you must be very careful when adding the flour because if you add too much it will become a mass instead of a sauce so please be cautious.
When you get the consistency, add half a teaspoon of pepper to get the perfect final taste.
Now, you can either mix the dismantled chicken with your sauce to add it together to your lasagna or you can add the chicken and sauce separately. Do as you prefer.
Ground Beef Lasagna
First, we want to cook our meat so in a pan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil with the stove at over medium-high heat add the meat and stir it seasoning with the adobo of your preference. Keep cooking it for 6 minutes or until you see it brown.
In a saucepan, stir-fry half an onion in pieces, and when they seem to have a goldish color add some grated carrot, chopped garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper.
When your mix of vegetables seems to have reached its point, add the ground beef along with the tomato paste and stir it to combine this mix, leave it in the oven for a while.
Now you have the Bolognese sauce for your meat lasagna!
4. Assemble your Lasagna
As said before, use the thicker layer of plantains you have previously sliced in the base of the pyrex ovenproof dish and follow the next sequence while filling the container, from bottom to top:
Chicken with Béchamel Sauce / Bolognese Sauce / Mixed
Repeat the sequence as long as your container allows it, or as long as you want it to.
When you are done filling up your container, finish the dish with a layer of ham and more cheese.
5. Bake the Lasagna
Get your dish inside the oven (that has been pre-heated) for 20 minutes at a 180°C (350°F) temperature or wait until you see the cheese grilled.
Check out this recap video!
Special thanks to our Chef Friend Paulina for this delicious recipe! Follow her instagram