I remember learning how to make lasagna first hand from a chef friend of my Mother’s at the young age of 13. I was so baffled at the fact that he didn’t boil the noodles before layering them into the casserole. That was not the way I had witnessed my aunt prepare her lasagna in the past. He explained to me that the raw noodle would cook in the sauce while in the oven and this would prevent the noodles from getting soggy, but instead stay firm. It made total sense to me, and I never boiled my noodles again when making a traditional lasagna casserole.
Then came the lasagna roll and cupcake craze. In order to create either dish the noodle would have to be boiled! I wasn’t fazed knowing that the noodle would be somewhat exposed in the baking process and wouldn’t turn to mush. I must admit I have had my fair share of lasagna cupcakes and rolls made with my own hands.
I decided to make a Mexican version of the old Italian favorite. With that being said I made a Cacique® Chorizo-based tomato sauce and laced it with Cacique® Crema Mexicana. I then boiled the noodles loaded them up with Cacique’s Oaxaca and Jalapeno Queso Quesadilla cheese. Rolled them into a lasagna roll and carefully placed them into a baking dish. Topped my rolls with a little more sauce and a little more cheese. Then baked them to perfection. The addition of the wonderful Cacique® Pork Chorizo added such a robust flavor to the dish, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to have it any other way.
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 – package Cacique® Pork Chorizo
- 1 – cup onion (chopped into small cubes)
- 1 – cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 – teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
- 2 – teaspoons chile pepper (the kind you put on pizza)
- 1 – teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
- 1/2 – teaspoon sugar
- 28 – ounces canned chopped tomatoes
- 14 – oz. tomato sauce
- 1/2 – cup Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 8 to 10 – lasagna noodles (cooked according to package)
- 1 – package Cacique® Oaxaca cheese (grated)
- 1 – package Cacique® Jalapeno Queso Quesadilla (grated)
- 8 – basil leaves (torn into pieces)
HOW TO MAKE IT
- In a large frying pan over a medium flame add in chorizo (remove casing). With a spatula break it up into pieces while it cooks. Cook chorizo for about 10 minutes, and every so often break it up a little more with spatula until it becomes a bunch of small bits. Add in onion and allow to saute in the chorizo for about 7 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, garlic, black pepper, chile pepper, and Lawry’s. Mix to combine. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add in sugar, chopped tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Mix to combine. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Slowly drizzle in Crema Mexicana, then mix to combine. Set to the side.
- Boil noodles according to box. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour half of the chorizo crema tomato mixture into a large baking dish. Set to the side and reserve the remaining chorizo crema tomato mixture to the side.
- Lay the noodles flat on a cutting board or non-stick surface. Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of jalapeno queso quesadilla on each of the lasagna noodles. Lay a few torn pieces of basil leaves on each strip. Sprinkle the top of the basil with 2 tablespoons Oaxaca cheese. Take one end of the lasagna noodle and roll it up to the other end of the noodle. Then place in the chorizo tomato based baking dish. Continue until all noodles are rolled. Then once all rolls are in the dish pour remaining tomato mixture over the top. Sprinkle the tops with any remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Then place under the broiler (set on high) for 2 minutes. Just to brown. Serve hot.