Here’s a post from before my move where I was trying to eat as much food from my frozen archives as I possibly could. Marilyn’s lasagne is GOOD my friends, very good!
I am in a “use it up and wear it out” phase at the moment and this dish was a perfect way of using up some bits and pieces of cheese I had knocking around in the fridge.
Blog reader Mark Brisenden had put Marilyn’s (potential) lasagne recipe in the forefront of my mind by sending some mouth-watering pix of one he had made.
Plus, discovering a mountain of fresh lasagne sheets in the back of my freezer (left over from the last time I made this) strengthened my resolve to rustle one up.
I had some feta which I used in place of cottage cheese, and a jar of mascarpone-laden pasta sauce that didn’t quite make it into the Heinz 57 challenge.
As the recipe calls for 8oz of tomato sauce, which is around 475g, and the Heinz jar was 350g, I just roughly divided everything else by 3/4, and it worked perfectly in the dish I bought specially for Mary Pickford’s Enchiladas. How PLEASING!
The whole shebang might have fitted into this 7×10-inch dish, but if you are doing the whole thing, you might want to make it in a slightly bigger one. A standard lasagne dish is 9×13 inches.
Here’s how it looked fresh out of the oven.
If you are intrigued by the title of this recipe, there’s a lot more information about it in this blog post. I don’t want to make it sound as though this is something Marilyn definitely made, but I think there is evidence that she might have made it or at least might have thought about making it.
As the only other recipe I know from Marilyn’s kitchen is her stuffing recipe
I am claiming this as hers! A really easy way of making an absolutely DELICIOUS vegetarian lasagne.
(Potentially) Marilyn Monroe’s Cheese Lasagne
8 oz lasagne noodles or any wide noodles
2 x 8-oz cans tomato sauce
2 cups creamed cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
Cook the noodles according to directions on package. Drain. Mix the tomato sauce with the cottage cheese, basil, salt, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Arrange alternate layers of noodles, cheddar cheese and the sauce mixture in a buttered two and one-half quart casserole. Top with crumbs that have been mixed with grated cheese.
Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for about 25 minutes.
This recipe is simplicity itself, but at the risk of making it seem more complicated than it is, here are a few notes that might help if you are new to making lasagne or a Brit. By the way, I googled the difference between lasagne with an E and lasagna with an A – turns out the former is the British spelling and the latter the American one.
For non-American cooks, you could use passata or a pre-made pasta sauce. “Tomato sauce” in the US isn’t ketchup as it is to most of us Brits.
I am guessing the 1/2 teaspoon of basil is dried basil. If I have some fresh basil on hand I use that – a handful of leaves torn up.
If you can get hold of fresh lasagne sheets I highly recommend them. It dispenses with the need to pre-cook and they freeze fine. Try not to have any edges sticking out of the top when you bake the lasagne unless you like crispy bits!
I reduced the salt this time around as the first time I made this it did seem very salty. I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt for this 3/4 of the recipe version, I probably could have got away with even less as the cheese I used was quite salty.
You might want to grease your cooking dish with some butter or olive oil – it might save you washing-up grief and it makes the lasagne easier to get out of the pan.
I layer as follows:
The final instruction isn’t super clear, I have taken it to mean that the Pecorino or Romano should be grated and mixed with the breadcrumbs. I melt about a tablespoon of butter and then cook the breadcrumbs lightly in this, then mix in the cheese.
This is really nice with a green salad to make you feel slightly more virtuous about eating all that cheese…
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