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.
1small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
½ lb. pork meat
¼cup olives stuffed with bell pepper, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1cup white wine
½lb. tender string beans or 1 9-oz pack, frozen (optional)
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.
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.
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).
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.
Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Let stand for a while, and then serve.