Tuna Lasagne

Made with canned tuna, onion soup, and cream of celery soup.

While we tend to view condensed cream of celery soup as something made just for casseroles, it was actually considered a very fancy thing to serve in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the lack of readily-available labor-saving devices made a puree of celery the sort of thing you had to have servants to accomplish. An early American mention is in 1880’s Miss Parloa’s New Cookbook: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking by Maria Parloa:

Cream of Celery Soup

A pint of milk, a table-spoonful of flour, one of butter, a head of celery, a large slice of onion and small piece of mace. Boil celery in a pint of water from thirty to forty-five minutes; boil mace, onion and milk together. Mix flour with two table-spoonfuls of cold milk, and add to boiling milk. Cook ten minutes. Mash celery in the water in which it has been cooked, and stir into boiling milk. Add butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain and serve immediately. The flavor is improved by adding a cupful of whipped cream when the soup is in the tureen.

If you were hoping for a red lasagne, here’s a version from the January 22, 1960 edition of the Madison Wisconsin State Journal, from a story titled “Tuna Lasagne is Way to Neptune’s Kingdom”:

Tuna Lasagne

Two (each 6-1/2 ounce) cans tuna, drained
Three tablespoons fresh lemon juice
One (No. 2-1/2) can tomatoes
One (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
One package spaghetti sauce mix
Salt and pepper to taste
One (8-ounce) package lasagne noodles
One-half pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese

Break tuna into large pieces and stir in lemon juice. Combine tomatoes and sauce and mix in large saucepan. Stir thoroughly and simmer 30 minutes. (If sauce is too thin, thicken with paste made of flour and water.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add tuna mixture.

Meanwhile, cook lasagne noodles according to package directions and drain. Arrange noodles, tuna with sauce, and cheese alternately in well-greased making pan, 11 by 7 inches. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F.) for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Makes six servings.

From the box of L.R. from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Tuna Lasagne (Delicious)

Cook box of lasagne per directions.

While cooking, mix in bowl:

  • 1 can onion soup
  • 1 can of cream of celery
  • 1 box of sour cream
  • drain liquid from tuna into mix
  • 1 sup can of evaporated milk

Layer with lasagne; spread filling on top of tuna, layer and repeat using 1/2 of tuna each time. Finish with filling and pepper.

Feeds about six.

Salad and bread are sufficient.

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