Recipe Box, Italian Tetrazzini

This dish came together totally by accident, but it’s a keeper and I will make it again and again.  I made this last week when it was rainy and cold.  I had planned to go out and do some errands and grocery shopping but the weather was so grim…and wet…and cold…and I’m a wimp…There WAS a river of water running down the street…it might be dangerous to drive….OKAY!   Enough excuses!  I really did have a ton of work to do so I did need to stay in place, no time for shopping today…

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I did a quick check of the pantry and fridge, and actually did some cleaning out and organizing! This is on my 2013 to do list!  Yea! I started!! This sorta energized me and I got an inspiration…I thought, ” I bet I can come up with something yummy without ever having to leave the house!”  Well, once I challenge myself, there is no turning back, I will stubbornly plow ahead…plus it’s fun to create something from what’s on hand!

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These are two of my “staples” that I try to keep in stock because they are so versatile.  The ready made light Alfredo Sauce comes in handy when you just need a touch of creaminess. One 4 oz. tub will do two or three tasks for me, and I love the reduced fat and calorie version…you can thin it out with a little milk, wine, butter, or olive oil even water, and have a lovely white sauce in no time.  If you don’t have any of this you can just make a simple white sauce. You can see a version of that by clicking here.

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I had some Pepperoni minis leftover from pizza making last weekend, and some basil pesto too.  Plus I had  a few slices of Proscuitto and half a yellow pepper, and some fresh linguini {not pictured}.  All this stuff was worthless by itself, not enough to do much with, but together it could be quite something!

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There was one lonely zucchini hanging out in the fridge along side of a half a box of sliced mushrooms…This dish was practically making itself!

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I put some sad looking grape tomatoes into the oven to roast.  They were still good to eat, just a little wrinkly, but after roasting they would be delicious and bursting with flavor. See technique for roasting by clicking here.

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I browned the mushrooms first and then I added the zucchini, pepperoni, Proscuitto, yellow pepper and the roasted tomatoes.

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In the meantime I put the pasta in boiling water for just a few minutes, just to the almost done {al dente, “to the tooth” stage, meaning when you bite into it it still has some chew.}  It will finish cooking when the dish bakes.  If your pasta is too done at this stage you run the risk of it being a mushy mess later.

Note: I prefer thin pastas, angel hair, thin spaghetti and linguini rather than fettucini, rigatoni or penne, because I like the pasta to be merely a vehicle for the veggies and sauce, a supporting actor for the stars kind of thing.   Simply adjust the recipe to suit your preferences, anything will work…you are the chef, create your own masterpiece!

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I tossed the hot pasta with some pesto and added it to the skillet.  You can now see the slightly thicker strands of linguini and the smaller rounder strands of the thin spaghetti.

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I tossed it all around and added about 4 Tablespoons of the Alfredo sauce.

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I also spread the bottom of the casserole dish with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce before adding 1/2 of the mixture in the skillet.  On top of this bottom half a spread another thin layer of Alfredo and topped it with the remaining pasta/veggie/meat mix.

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I sprinkled the top with a little Parmesan and grated mozzarella {more leftovers from pizza night} and covered it with foil. Then I tucked it away in the fridge until dinner time.  Now that the leftovers were gone, my refrigerator looked quite beautiful!

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AND, there was actually room for this dish! No rearranging and moving things around! I used a the little bits and pieces of things that were taking up space and now I had plenty of room for grocery shopping the next day.  If you can clean out your fridge and organize before going to the store you will save yourself a lot of time and money.  You won’t buy things you already have and the ease of putting groceries away into a clean and organized fridge is life changing!

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Seven o’clock, dinner time!

DSC_5793Ta Dah!  This dish was gorgeous!DSC_5802

Layers of flavor, and just enough sauce and cheese to keep it moist and creamy, yet the flavor from the veggies and meat came through and it was the perfect dinner on a chilly wet night!  It was pretty much heaven…

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I served it with a simple green salad and a slice of homemade foccacia bread.

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and there was enough left over for enjoying again.

Here is the method, please adjust amounts to suit your need and taste

ITALIAN TETRAZZINI  for a printable version click here

For this pictured casserole, which yielded 4 large servings I used the following:

2 oz thin spaghetti {Barilla Plus Multigrain}

2 oz fresh refrigerated linguini {Buitoni}

2 oz prepared basil pesto sauce

3 oz prepared light Alfredo Sauce {Buitoni}

1 small zucchini, sliced

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, roasted

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

4 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

2 thin slices Proscuitto

1/4 cup Hormel mini pepperonis

2 oz freahly grated Parmesan cheese

2 oz grated Mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta until barely done and toss hot pasta with pesto and stir.  Saute mushrooms until brown then add the rest of the veggies and meats.  Saute quickly until veggies are done.  Add pasta to the skillet, combine with veggie mixture.  Spread a thin layer, about 1/4 of the Alfredo sauce over bottom of a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil spray. Add about 1/4 of the Alfredo sauce to the pasta & veggie/meat mixture in skillet and put 1/2 of the mix into the casserole dish.  Top with 1/4 of the Alfredo sauce, spreading gently around and sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheeses.  Top with remaining pasta mixture, then top that with remaining sauce and cheeses.  Cover with foil.  Bake covered for 3o minutes at 350.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes more until hot and melty.  Makes 4 large servings, 6 smaller servings.

Buon Appetito!

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Comments
5 Responses to “Recipe Box, Italian Tetrazzini”
  1. This looks wonderful. I love accidental/surprise recipes.:-) I know we would like this pasta.

    Like

  2. Sherry says:

    I love any dish that includes pasta and this looks wonderful! Take care and have a wonderful week.
    xx, Sherry

    Like

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