I love casseroles and tetrazzini is a special kind of casserole that holds a dear place in my heart. This American version of the traditional Italian dish has been around for more than a century now and it’s still a very popular choice for a hearty family dinner.
I make my tetrazzini from scratch and use homemade pasta instead of store-bought ones – I feel that it gives me the ultimate control over how the dish turns out in the end! Of course, if I really don’t have the time to make the pasta beforehand then I will yield and buy simple spaghetti noodles from the local supermarket and it will do just fine. But if you have the time then I highly recommend you try out making tetrazzini using my pasta recipe. I promise you won’t regret it!
Other than the pasta, I use a perfectly smooth white sauce with herbs, sautéed buttery mushrooms, and a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese to complete this dish to perfection.
My recipe is based on what I found in The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever (it can even be bought on Kindle). It’s a very good traditional cookbook that makes full use of the knowledge passed down by our mothers and grandmothers. Give it a read if you value traditional values and don’t want to feed your family with modern full-of-preservatives ingredients. I tweaked the recipe to better suit my needs several times until I was sure that I found the ideal method of cooking traditional herb chicken tetrazzini.
- measuring cups
- two large mixing bowls
- a wooden spoon
- a towel
- a rolling pin
- a pastry knife/a pizza roller
- a large saucepan
- a cast iron skillet
- a large pasta pot
- a large baking dish
How to make homemade pasta
- 3 ½ cups of freshly ground flour
- 1 cup of water
- 2 T. of apple cider vinegar OR whey
*You can also omit the apple cider vinegar/whey and use very freshly ground flour without waiting for it to soak.
- Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a small well in the center.
- Pour the water and the apple cider vinegar into the well.
- Mix the ingredients together until you reach a dough-like consistency. You can either use your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Once the dough is ready cover the mixing bowl with a towel and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours.
- Prepare your counter for working with the dough by pouring some flour on it.
- Remove the dough and knead for about 2 minutes on the floured surface. You will know it’s ready when the dough becomes smooth.
- Flatten it with your hands into a large rectangular shape. Use a rolling pin to get it to around 1/8 inch thickness.
- Use a pastry knife or a pizza roller to cut the dough into very thin strips. Hang your pasta and let it dry while you prepare the rest of the tetrazzini recipe.
How to make Herb Chicken Tetrazzini
- 6 T of freshly ground flow OR arrowroot powder
- 6 T. of grass-fed butter
- 2 ½ cups of chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups of cream
- ½ of dry sherry OR dry white wine
- 4 cups of cooked chicken or turkey, cut into small pieces or shredded
- homemade pasta from recipe above (around 1 pound)
- 1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ pounds of chopped mushrooms
- 4 T. of fresh chopped sage + some more for garnish
- 4 T. of fresh chopped thyme + some more for garnish
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the baking dish and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.
- Whisk in the flour/arrowroot powder. Add 2 tablespoons of sage and 2 tablespoons of thyme.
- Whisk the ingredients together without stopping for 2 minutes.
- Add in the chicken stock, cream, and sherry/wine. Cook for another 10 minutes while whisking occasionally. The sauce should then thicken nicely.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add ½ cup of parmesan cheese.
- Measure 1 cup of the sauce you just made and pour it into a mixing bowl. Add another ½ cup of parmesan cheese to it and stir until combined. Set both the sauce in the saucepan and the one in a bowl aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in a large cast iron skillet. Sautee the mushrooms in it together with the other 2 tablespoons of both sage and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned. Remove from the heat. Reserve 1 cup of the mushrooms separately.
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain when cooked.
- Using a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, the sautéed mushrooms, and the cream sauce.
- Add the chopped chicken or turkey and stir together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Now layer the ingredients in your baking dish. First, pour in the meat and pasta mixture evenly.
- Then pour in the reserved sauce and then the reserved mushrooms.
- Lastly, sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can see it bubble.
- Then turn on the broiler for another 5 minutes so that the top becomes slightly browned. Serve while hot and enjoy!