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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Leftover ham tetrazzini recipe

how was your vacation Mine, like many others, was hijacked by the Omicron boom.

The (booster-ed) son I was about to spend Christmas with unexpectedly tested positive, bringing an abrupt end to our planned family feast — and me and my husband getting a damn expensive, 9 from Parma Sausage in a Pittsburgh strip. District except pound smoked ham.

COVID-19, if anything, has taught us all how to pivot. In the days that followed, we ate ham and homemade sweet pickle relish sandwiches, and I folded chunks of cured meats into a salty Lorraine. I also whipped up this rich and creamy ham tetrazzini before putting a few pieces in the freezer.

Believed to be named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, and made famous by chef Louis Paquette in the 1920s, the noodle dish is traditionally made with chicken or seafood. But honestly, any protein, including ham, works.

The original NYT recipe calls for fontina cheese and a panko topping, but I used whatever I had on hand—shredded Gouda and fresh breadcrumbs in butter. If you don’t like peas, consider asparagus, spinach or broccoli florets for a bright splash of green.

Leftover Ham Tetrazzini

Leftover holiday ham plays a starring role in this cheesy tetrazzini dish. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, any tough or dry stems discarded, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz cream cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped leftover ham
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1 cup grated Gouda cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (regular) or 375 degrees (convection). Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook until pasta is just shy of al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directs. Drain and rinse with cold water.

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Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat and add mushrooms. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring only occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid and begin to turn dark brown, 8 to 11 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add flour. Stir well, until flour and mushrooms are evenly combined and flour is evenly moistened, about 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine, and let it come to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow wine to bubble slightly, 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock, and let come to a boil. Cook until it is completely thickened, about 5 minutes.

Minimize the heat. Beat in cream cheese pieces (don’t worry if the cream cheese looks curdled), then fold in the ham, peas, and cheese. Season liberally with black pepper. Add drained pasta and toss with tongs to combine. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (I split this between 2 smaller pans so I could share.)

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a pan over the stove and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the top of the pasta, and bake until bubbly and browned, about 25 minutes.

Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. It will be very creamy at first but it will harden as it cools.

Serve with additional Parmesan for sprinkling.

Serves 8.

— adapted from nytimes.com

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