Mexican Lasagna

Prep Time: 1 and 1/2 Hours
Yields: 8 Servings

While lasagna is traditionally thought of as an Italian dish, the combination of tomatoes, meat and cheese is not unique to that cuisine. This Mexican version gives a nod to Italy with the pasta and ricotta, but the taste clearly says "Ole!"


1 (8-ounce) package lasagna noodles
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4cup minced garlic
1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 tbsp chili powder
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta
3 cups prepared salsa
1 cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook and drain noodles according to package directions and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed pot, cook ground beef over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, cilantro and chili powder. Continue to cook 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are wilted. Season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic then set aside. Spray a 13" x 9" Pyrex baking dish with vegetable spray. Place five of the cooked noodles in bottom of pan and layer with 1½ cups of beef mixture. Top with 1 cup of ricotta cheese, then with 1 cup salsa. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with salsa. Sprinkle top of casserole with shredded cheese and bake uncovered 40-45 minutes or until bubbling hot.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot with a dollop of Guacamole Puebla (see recipe) on top.