We wanted to make a tuna lasagna, but with a Spanish twist. This brought us an idea for combining lasagna and an Andalucian tapas dish called cabala con pimientos asados – mackerel with roasted peppers. It can be found in most tapas bars. There’s nothing special to it: in a tapas plate, there are a few pieces of mackerel and a few pieces of roasted paprika. Most often straight from a can with lots of olive oil and a piece of white bread. And it’s good!
These are the main ingredients for the sauce, but of course, we added some chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and a handful of olives, and a handful of capers to raise the bar a bit. It turned out to be a fantastic dish!
As you may have noticed we prefer having fresh pasta, but you can use regular lasagne sheets as well. In that case, add some extra tomato juice from a can in order to make to sauce very moist. The lasagne sheets absorb the liquid when cooked.
Ingredients for Lasagne Española for 4 Servings
- 1 onion – cebolla
- 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
- a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
- 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of canned tomatoes – tomates enteros pelados
- 1 small can (170 g, 6 oz) of tomato paste – tomate doble concentrado
- 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of roasted peppers – pimientos asados
- a handful of capers – alcaparras
- a handful of olives – aceitunas
- 1 can (400 g, 14 oz) of mackerel (or tuna) – caballa
- sea salt – sal marina
- ground black pepper – pimienta negra
- 8 lasagne sheets – hoja de lasaña
- grated parmesan cheese – queso parmesano
Mince onion and garlic. Sautée in a large saucepan in olive oil and when soft, add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, roasted peppers, capers, and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes and then add mackerels. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let the sauce rest while preparing the lasagna sheets.
If you are using other than fresh lasagna sheets, add some tomato juice or just plain water to keep the mixture moist. However, if you are using fresh pasta, cook the sheets for 2 minutes in salted water.
Preheat the oven to 170 ºC (350 ºF). Swipe an oven dish with olive oil to prevent lasagna from sticking into the dish. Spread the first layer of sauce on the bottom, place pasta sheets on top and repeat until all the sauce is used. Cover the lasagna with a clean layer of lasagna sheets and grate some parmesan cheese on top.
Cook in the oven for 45 minutes and let it rest for 30 minutes before serving.