tetrazzini with a twist

My mom was a great cook. Is a great cook I should say, as she’s very much alive. I guess I say “was” because I’m referring more to my childhood. Other than my (still current) aversion to the lime ooze called split pea soup, I loved everything she cooked. I never thought about it much as a kid, but it was always new stuff, never like “meatloaf Thursday” or anything like that. Of course we had our favorites but she always kept it interesting and delicious. We entertained a lot, and something else I didn’t realize as a kid, mom was great at it. She had a plethora of dishes and depending on the menu, she would send us down into the basement or rooting through the antique pie safe/dish cabinet to get the right dishes for the occasion. If we were having Mexican, we’d get out the clear glass drinking goblets with the green stems, the white plates with the bright multicolored striped border, and if it was really special company, we’d even get out the fancy silverware and polish it. I guess that’s where I get my love of setting the table, cooking, and all things “hostessy”. But my favorite thing about having company? Mom’s chicken tetrazzini. It was a treat because she only made it for company so there was something fancy and special about it, and obviously yummy. So today as I was rummaging through my kitchen trying to see what ingredients I could throw together for dinner I happened upon some broccoli florets on the freezer, then a box of whole wheat pasta in the pantry and “ding!”, tetrazzini! So after a quick phone call to mom to verify her recipe and method, I got to work. My version was a little different than hers, mainly to due to ingredients on hand, but that’s what’s great about passing on recipes, it’s like whisper down the lane. Here’s what I used…

1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti (I think I’ll try it with quinoa pasta next time but I didn’t have any in the pantry)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 chicken breasts
1/2 c milk
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 c*broccoli florets
2 c sliced mushrooms
*as usual with me, most of these measurements are an approximation so a little more, a little less, you’ll be fine.

Preheat oven to 375 then boil pasta. Meanwhile, dice the chicken and after seasoning it with a little s&p sauté it in some olive oil and chopped garlic. Add broccoli and mushrooms, cook till heated through. Put cream of mushroom soup and milk into bowl and stir together then put a thin layer on bottom of casserole dish. Layer spaghetti in pan then chicken mixture and top with cream sauce and grated Parmesan. Repeat until you’re out of ingredients. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remember, everything is cooked so you’re really just making sure all the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted. That’s pretty much it. This recipe makes a pretty large portion so for us that means lots of tetrazzini leftovers which is fine by me! I’m sure the butcher won’t mind either since he THOROUGHLY enjoyed this recipe. Thanks mom!



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