I hate washing dishes with a burning passion. I would rather do ten loads of laundry, take out the trash, or vacuum the whole house than do the dishes, but unfortunately for me my mom hates washing dishes too. She always says, “I make you dinner every day, you have no excuses.” So one day I asked her, by that logic, would she do the dishes if I made dinner? She said yes, but then left half of them till the next day and told me that it was my turn to wash the dishes again…so much for that!
Anyways, where I was going with the whole least-favorite-household-chore thing was the pasta I made for dinner that night I struck a deal with my mom. Dictionary.com defines tetrazzini as an adjective meaning ‘served over pasta with a cream sauce, often flavored with sherry, sprinkled with cheese, and browned in the oven: chicken Tetrazzini.’ Wikipedia said ‘there is no universal standard for the dish, so various parts are missing or substituted in various recipes,’ which is just fine with me because I like doing things my way (red bell pepper, green onion, grilled chicken breast, and a secret ingredient – chicken broth).
This is actually based on a recipe off the back of a pasta box, but I can now safely say it is my go-to pasta dish. I think I’ve made it 3 or 4 times now and that’s almost unheard of because I’m always trying new recipes. It’s not particularly time consuming, the ingredients are pretty basic, and I think it can even be categorized as ‘healthy’ (go heavy on the red peppers). Go make this for your mom, maybe you’ll get out of doing the dishes (or at least half of them…)
P.S. I made this once with imitation crab meat because that’s what we had, and it turned out pretty good. I like the chicken version better, but here’s what it looked like with the substitution:
Yeah, not much different. 🙂
Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini
- 2 C dry pasta (I used rotini)
- 1 C diced grilled chicken
- 1 TB butter
- 1 C chopped sweet red bell pepper
- ¼ C sliced green onion
- 2 TB all-purpose flour
- 1 C half and half
- 1 C chicken broth
- 3 TB milk
- ¼ c parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
- Heat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. In a 1.5 quart casserole dish, stir together hot pasta and chicken.
- Meanwhile, in a 2-qt saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sautee red pepper and onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until red pepper is tender.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in half-and-half, chicken broth, and milk.
- Cook on high, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Reduce to medium and cover the pan, cooking until it thickens (a film will form on top). Remove from heat; stir in half the cheese and add salt to taste. Pour sauce over pasta/chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
The meat can be substituted with any sort of diced fowl or seafood. You could make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and adding mushrooms.
Number of servings (yield): 3