According to the notoriously unreliable Wikipedia, Tetrazzini was created for an opera star, possibly by the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It also contained almonds at one point which it normally doesn’t now. I’m going to vote for the Palace Hotel because it is a lovely old hotel and has one of the best bathrooms in the city, right next to the Montgomery BART station — if you have taken BART in the last ten years, you know why this is a crucial bit of information.
Even though the recipe seems deceptively like a tuna noodle casserole recipe, the end result is not. Because of the thinness of the pasta, Tetrazzini when done right has a velvety quality. The sherry flavor makes it feel like a poor man’s lobster Newburg but this is not gourmet food. You don’t need to remember Stouffer’s delicious turkey Tetrazzini to know that.
Tuna Tetrazzini Senza Dairy
1 can of tuna in water (drained)
2 tablespoons dried onions (optional)
1 1/2 cups cup dairy-free cream sauce made with “safe” milk (see my recipe here and try it with coconut milk but do NOT skimp on the sherry)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces (would also be good with asparagus — especially if you have it leftover)
1 cup cooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 oz. vegan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Earth balance for the casserole dish and to dot on top
Preheat your oven to 400.
Combine tuna and cream sauce in the skillet where you made the cream sauce. Add broccoli and cook till al dente (or well thawed if using frozen). Melt the fake cheese in the sauce. Add dried onions and stir thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more sherry if you can’t taste it. Incorporate noodles.
Grease a small casserole dish. Pour mixture into dish and put breadcrumbs on top. Dot with bits of Earth Balance and bake at 400 for 25 – 35 minutes or until brown and crunchy on top. Serves about 4 people who aren’t snobby about food.