Tetrazzini, often confused as an Italian recipe, is an American dish made with diced poultry or seafood and mushroom in a butter/cream and Parmesan sauce flavoured with wine or sherry.
It is served hot over linguine, spaghetti, or some similarly thin pasta, garnished with parsley, and sometimes topped with almonds and/or Parmesan cheese. Tetrazzini can be prepared as a baked noodle casserole, sometimes with steps taken to give it a browned crust. Shortcut recipes for home cooking sometimes use canned cream of mushroom soup or other cream soups.
The dish is named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini.
It is widely believed to have been invented circa 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident. However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Good Housekeeping published the first reference to Turkey Tetrazzini in October, 1908, saying readers could find the dish of cooked turkey in a cream sauce, with spaghetti, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, and bread crumbs on top, at “the restaurant on Forty-second street.”
The chicken tetrazzini was made famous by chef Louis Paquet.
No universal standard for the dish exists, so various parts are missing or substituted in various recipes, for example, another kind of nut, or different hard cheese. The name is often expanded to describe the specific meat used (e.g., chicken tetrazzini, or tuna tetrazzini).