The famous opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini made her debt in San Francisco and returned every opera season. Her after-the-opera parties were unrivaled. This recipe combining chicken and pasta is one of her creations. It can be made ahead and popped in the oven while guests enjoy conversation, antipasto, and wine. It is also excellent to pop in the oven while family or guest are yelling at the sporting event on T.V., eating from the veggie tray and drinking beer. It has no limits.
There are numerous recipes for this dish and was very popular in the 70's and 80's until someone told us that half and half was bad for us. Nothing in moderation is bad for you, so enjoy.
Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
6 generous servings
1/2 pound (8-ounces) spaghettini
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 pound fresh mushroom, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked boneless chicken breast or other parts, diced
3 tablespoons sherry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mince parsley for garnish
Cook the spaghettini as per package directions "al dente." Do not let it become mushy. Drain a set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Blend in the flour and cook together a minute. Slowly add the half-and-half, stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened (this is a thin sauce). Add the salt , pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the green pepper, mushrooms, chicken, and sherry. Blend well and set aside.
Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish. Place the pasta on the bottom, and pour the chicken sauce on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Cook uncovered in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes. If you make the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, allow 15-20 minutes extra for baking. Garnish with parsley.