Pastelón de Plátano Maduro (Puerto Rican Lasagna), photo by Denisse OllerPhoto by Denisse Oller

Pastelón de Plátano Maduro (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Servings: 4 servings
Skip the pasta and try this tropical twist on lasagna!

If you're a fan of lasagna, you have to try pastelón. This Puerto Rican lasagna, also popular in the Dominican Republic, is made with layers of plantains instead of pasta. The result is a delicious blend of flavors and textures. Unlike lasagna, pastelón is both sweet and savory. The riper the plantains, the sweeter the dish will be.

In Puerto Rico and many parts of the Caribbean, sweet, ripe plantains, also known as maduros, are a common accompaniment to beef, chicken, seafood and other savory foods. There's something about that flavor combination just works. It's also one of those foods that instantly reminds of you of the Caribbean tropics.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½ lb. beef
  • ½ lb. pork meat
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup olives stuffed with bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ lb. tender string beans or 1 9-oz pack, frozen (optional)
  • 6 large, ripe (yellow) plantains
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to fry the beef and pork
  • 6 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Butter or oil to grease the pan

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onion over low heat until almost transparent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until soft.
  3. Add beef and pork with salt and pepper (to taste) and cook until there is raw or pink meat left. Add olives, capers, raisins, tomato sauce and white wine. Cook until the wine is evaporated, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, peel and cut the plantains lengthwise in fine slices and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes. Dry on paper towel. Remove fibers and ends from the string beans and cook in water with salt over medium heat for 20 minutes or until al dente (firm to the bite).
  5. Beat eggs well with salt and pepper. Use a greased 13” x 9” x 2” pan. Place the bananas, beef and pork, string beans and cheese in layers until the pan is filled. Pour the beaten eggs on top.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Let stand for a while, and then serve.
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