I love the live theater. I can remember visiting my grandparents one summer when they took me to go see Oklahoma! It was the first performance I had ever seen and I loved it. What kid couldn’t appreciate “Poor Jud is Dead”? When I was in high school I acted in quite a few theater productions (children’s and community theater) and now I attend many live performances a year.
I hate to admit that I have never been to the opera. It just doesn’t appeal to me the way theater does. Maybe it is the language barrier. Maybe the never-ending trill to the soprano’s voice. It just never interested me. I am sure that I will attend at some point in the future as I am a firm believer that you should try almost anything at least once.
Some recipes easily bring a story to my mind, but others, like this one, really don’t. So I looked it up and found it has a somewhat interesting namesake: Luisa Tetrazzini.
Tetrazzini was an opera singer in the late 1800′s and the first half of the 1900′s. She gained international stardom and had a voice that held its power through the highest registers. She worked for Oscar Hammerstein (whose grandson would write the lyrics to Oklahoma!) and sang at the Met. She was known to say in her later years, “I’m old. I’m fat. But I’m still Tetrazzini.” This dish was named after her. If she ate it often, I can see how she got fat!
Such a delicious dish. Creamy. Satisfying.
I used cornflake crumbs in place of the white bread (because I had them).
Throwing it in the pot.
Frying it all up.
Mixing up the cheeses.
All ready to go.
Cooking the pasta.
The pasta cooked to al dente.
Cornflake crumbs on the top.
Makes: 2 casseroles, 6 servings each (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.
380 calories 29 % caloriesfromfat 12.2 g fat 6.6 g satfat 3.4 g monofat 0.7 g polyfat 33 g protein 32.7 g carbohydrate 2 g fiber 66 mg cholesterol 2.8 mg iron 964 mg sodium 319 mg calcium