Pastelón (Sweet and Salty Lasagna)

Pastelón (Sweet and Salty Lasagna)

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Pastelón is a Puerto Rican version of lasagna. I grew up with it, and I love the sweet and salty combination that it brings. If you've never worked with plantains before, it's a great way to start since this recipe is very hard to get wrong! Try it out for your next meal!

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Time needed

20 min preparation + 30 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers, chopped finely
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lg. tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 6 plantains, very ripe (starting to brown slightly)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1/3 C. tomato sauce
  • 1/3 C. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. oregano, to taste
  • 2 eggs

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Directions

In a large pot, heat up oil to a high heat and add the peppers, onion, and tomatoes. Cook on high heat for two minutes, then lower hear to it's lowest setting. Add garlic and water. Mix. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, until fragrant. Spoon into a bowl and set aside. This is called a sofrito, and it's a very common ingredient in Latin cuisine. 

Peel the plantains and slice them into long strips. In the clean pot you used to make the sofrito, fry the plantains in oil until they're done (about 2-3 minutes per side). When they're finished and have been drained, use the tines of a fork to press the plantains until they're flat. 

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, sofrito, cilantro, and oregano. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and put a layer of plantains on the bottom. Whisk the eggs with a splash of water ans pour half over the plantains. 

Put meat mixture over the plantains and salt as desired (I don't add any). Top with another layer of plantain strips, and pour the remaining egg wash over the top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached at least 160 degrees. 

Allow to cool and set for 15 minutes after baking. Slice and serve with some sour cream or rice on the side. 

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