The other day I woke up with a crazy food idea: What if I combined the best of enchiladas with the best of lasagna?
Mexican flavored Italian food? It’s so crazy it just may work!
Before embarking on my culinary experiment, I made sure my husband would be on board with the fact that dinner was going to be a total shot-in-the-dark experiment that may end in genius OR disaster.
He was game for something new, so I set out to create an original Mosaicca recipe. The ingredients from enchiladas that I chose to use were ground turkey browned with taco seasoning, black beans, corn, and jalapeno jack cheese. From the lasagna perspective, I decided to keep the flat noodles and marinara sauce.
And thus was born my Frankenstein’s monster dinner!
My first step when making any kind of lasagna dish is to cook the noodles al dente. There are some out there who say you need to cook your lasagna noodles thoroughly before baking, and there are those at the other extreme who say to put them in crisp. Me? As with many things in life, I fall ideologically somehwere in the middle.
So, I bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until they bend slightly when pressed with a spoon in the water.
I layered my madcap creation thusly: a healthy smattering of marinara sauce on the bottom, then a layer of noodles, a scooping of corn, beans, and turkey. This layering was repeated twice, with no cheese in any of the layers. I may do this part differently next time and add ricotta to some layers, but seeing as I am very sensitive to lactose, I wanted to minimize the dairy.
Finally, after the topmost layer of corn, beans, and turkey, I applied a final layer of noodles, which I covered liberally with marinara and then shredded cheese.
I baked my experiment for 40 minutes covered loosely with tin foil, then for another ten minutes uncovered, at 375 degrees. I’ve found through trial and error that lasagna is best served after sitting out at room temperature for at least half an hour before cutting. Like a good quiche, it needs time to set, and even then it may be quite sloppy to serve.
So, I know you all must just be dying to know how it turned out!
Was it an abject disaster, fitting only as punishment?
Or was it a stroke of epicurean genius?
While I wouldn’t go so far as it say it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I will say that we both loved it! The flavors from the taco seasoning melded very well with the mild sweetness of the marinara, and we both agreed that the beans and corn lent a nice depth to the ordinary texture of lasagna.
Tell me, do you ever experiment in the kitchen with fusion foods? What’s your favorite culinary experiment you’ve ever tried?
Until next time,
- 1 package ground turkey
- 1/2 box dry lasagna noodles
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 packet taco seasoning
- 1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup jalapeno jack shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, bring a pot of water to a boil, and grease a rectangular casserole dish.
- Brown turkey in skillet, mixing well with taco seasoning.
- Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
- Layer casserole dish with marinara, then pasta, then a combination of corn, beans, and turkey. Repeat this layering until all ingredients are used, saving one layer of pasta as the final layer.
- Cover the top layer of pasta with marinara sauce, and sprinkle cheese on top.
- Cover dish loosely with aluminum foil, making sure that foil does not touch the cheese.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil cover, and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and edges brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least half an hour (ideally a full hour) prior to cutting and serving.
- Garnish with sour cream and green onions.