May 5, 2011

Two Mom's Making Pasta!

The Maine House received a special request for our Wednesday weeknight dinner.....Chicken Tetrazzini! As I was speaking with our youngest, our sweet Robbie, he said, "What did you make for dinner tonight?" (isn't it funny, that my grown-up boys always ask me "what's cookin'?") When I replied I had made Chicken Tetrazzini....I heard him groan and say...."That sounds soooooo good, Mom!" I have made this for years, and it usually a most requested pot-luck dish for any occasion!

 This particular one is from my "Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee"
and was made famous by Miss Minne Pearl!

Miss Minnie's Chicken Tetrazzini
2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
 2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 1/2 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 lb spaghetti, cooked and drained
 6 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives
1 cup chopped pecans

In saucepan, cook celery and onion in butter until tender. Add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes. Slowly stir in mushroom soup, milk and cheese. Mix thoroughly.
Remove from heat. Add cooked spaghetti. Let stand 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add chicken and olives to spaghetti and place in prepared dish.

Sweet Melissa made this dish for her family this week. It is a Giada recipe but will be noted as "Sweet Melissa's"...since she is the one who gave me the recipe and shared her secret yummy dish with her Mom! Your family and dinner guests are going to love this dish...be certain to use fresh vegetables and herbs...not frozen! It is light, filling, a feast for the eyes! Serve with a good bordeaux wine and crusty hot french bread!

Sweet Melissa's Penne and Asparagus
8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups  cherry tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil leaves...this is fresh and amazingly delicious!

Miss Mae Mobley "Mae Mo" overseeing the cookbook review!

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