Tweaking Nigella: Mexican Lasagne

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Putting a twist on Nigella’s recipes

The thing about many of Nigella Lawson’s savoury recipes is that they are easy, after work, kinda meals. Not too many ingredients and not too many pots. So they tend to make it into my meal plans at least once a week.

Like most people, I tweak recipes to suit what we have in the cupboard or what we like / dislike. I’ve found myself using produce from some of the north-west’s great producers in several Nigella recipes so thought that I would start to share my ‘tweaks’ with you so you can maybe support these local producers and make delicious meals at the same time.

Tweaking Nigella: Mex LasagneA solid favourite in our house is based on her Mexican Lasagne (you can find the recipe on her website here).  It is one of those dishes which you wonder why you never thought of it yourself. A chilli mince (she makes a bean salsa but alas my hubby dislikes them) layered using flour tortillas rather than pasta sheets. The omission of pasta makes it seem less stodgy and it is far more flavourful than standard lasagne.

Tweak #1: Mr Vikki’s Chilli Jam. Whenever I make a chilli I add a large dollop (about 1/3 jar) of Mr Vikki’s Chilli Jam. This Cumbrian chilli-wizard makes by far the best chilli jam in the world and it works in several ways in my chilli. Firstly, it adds masses of flavour and some lip-tingly heat as it is packed with chillies and garlic. Secondly, it seems to have a slightly thickening effect. So I deviate from Nigella and make my basic chilli with this, paprika and cayenne.

Tweak #2: Tasty Creations Cheese Sauce. Ok, so I should admit that Steve who makes these sauces in Cheshire is a friend, but I can not be bothered to make cheese sauce on a dark Wednesday after work so he has come up with a winner here with these fresh sauces ! I use Red Hot Red Leicester cheese sauce for this dish. As I said, I don’t use beans so my dish stacks up like this: chilli, tortilla, cheese sauce, chilli, tortilla, cheese sauce, cheese on top. The spicy red Leicester sauce spreads easily and one tub does me one of these lasagnes perfectly, but you could stretch it to do two if you’re not as greedy as me!

The result is a spicy, oozy ‘lasagne’ which I serve up with a bit of green veg or tortilla chips, and uses just one pan, one wooden spoon and one oven dish.

I’ve a few more Nigella tweaks up my sleeve but feel free to share your favourite recipe tweaks too!

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