When we lived in California, I did ALL of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. We live too far from the nearest TJs here, so I’ve been getting used to shopping at places like Costco and H.E.B.
We’ve enjoyed the variety it’s providing. I’ve found things like whole wheat capellini, andouille sausage, and superfine cornmeal. My husband is enjoying the fact that he can sneak REAL bologna into the cart now, and our cat has gained about 20% of his body weight in 3 weeks because he’s gorging himself on meow mix and fancy feast. I always thought he was a picky eater, but I guess he just didn’t like the “healthy” cat food I was buying him. He’s also too afraid of our new humid weather and open sky to go beyond the patio, which may also be contributing to his plumpness.
Of all the whole wheat pasta, capellini is the best. The noodles are so thin it doesn’t taste grainy at all! It could almost pass as white pasta.
I’ll admit, as much as I love Texas, and as excited as I am to be here, I’m feeling a bit homesick for California. This will be the first year that I won’t be able to spend all of the holidays with my family. That got me thinking about Thanksgiving at Granny’s house, which got me thinking about turkey, which got me thinking about the delicious turkey tetrazzini casserole that she would always make on Black Friday with the left over turkey. I had to make it, or at least a close enough version. I didn’t have turkey, so I used chicken, and I was able to use the whole wheat capellini, instead of traditional white spaghetti noodles.
Making this recipe for the first time, I had high expectations, and while it wasn’t as good as Granny’s, it was pretty darn tasty! Taylor looked at me halfway through dinner and said, “I could eat this for a week!” We only ate it for two days because it disappeared quickly.
Since I only buy whole wheat bread, and I was using the capellini, I decided to opt for whole wheat bread crumbs instead of white. They were delicious! But anything would be if you mixed it with butter and parmesan cheese right?
I always add more peas then the recipe calls for. Here three great reasons you should too:
- They taste SO GOOD
- They make you feel less guilty about a dish full of cheese and carbs
- They are pretty
I will definitely be making this again!
Most casserole recipes that are meant to go in a 9 x 13 will fit neatly into a 9″ pie dish when halved. This is what I did with this recipe, so feel free to double it and bake it in a 9x 13 if you are feeding more than 4 people.
This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 3 slices of whole wheat bread, torn into quarters
- 2 tbl unsalted butter, melted
- pinch salt
- 2 tbl grated parmesan cheese
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 4 tbl unsalted butter
- 4 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbl all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 tbl grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbl dry sherry
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- pinch of dried nutmeg
- 6 oz capellini or spaghetti pasta, broken in half
- 1½ cups frozen peas
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded into bite size pieces
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse bread in food processor to make course crumbs.
- Combine crumbs with melted butter and salt and spread evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake until medium brown (whole wheat bread is already golden brown, so just let it get a shade darker.) Stir it every few minutes. It should be ready in about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer crumbs to bowl and mix in parmesan cheese.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
- Grease a 9" pie dish.
- Melt 1 tbl butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms and onions cook, stirring often, until liquid has been released and mostly evaporated, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Wipe out skillet to get it ready to make the sauce for the filling.
- Melt 3 tbl butter in the skillet over medium heat.
- Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour turns golden, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened. About 4 minutes.
- Off heat mix in parmesan, sherry, lemon juice, thyme, nutmeg and ½ tsp of salt.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water and return it to the pot.
- Add sauce, mushroom mixture, peas, chicken, and reserved cooking water to the pasta, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer mixture to prepared dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake, covered (so whole wheat crumbs don't get too dark) until mixture is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.