Welcome to CASSEROLE WEEK!  As we work our way through, I will add to the casserole week list as we go so you have a handy list of one dish dinners that are tried and true!

Cross-posted at The Polivka Family.

What better way to start Casserole Week than with a beautiful baked dish full of homemade pasta noodles, herbed white sauce whisked to perfection, earthy mushrooms sauteed in golden grass-fed butter, and a nutty crust of parmesan cheese on top?

This fresh herb tetrazini with homemade noodles is one of my family’s favorites, tried and true by my kids and, um, discerning husband alike.

This recipe was adapted from the wonderful book The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever.  You can even get the Kindle version here.  I highly recommend the book, and even though it needs a few real food tweaks here and there, it’s still very traditional food friendly.  They don’t use any semi-condensed soups as the base of their casseroles, for example!

Because the sauce in this recipe is based on homemade, gelatin- and mineral-rich, chicken stock, you can lap it up and slurp the bowl without feeling especially sheepish for loving the “gravy” so much.  Drink it up!  It’s really good for you.

Equipment Needed:

  • grain grinder, rolling pin, pizza roller
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large saucepan, large pasta pot, cast iron skillet
  • wooden spoon, whisk
  • cutting board, good knife
  • large mixing bowl, large baking dish

Homemade Pasta
(original recipe here)

3 1/2 cups freshly ground flour, preferably kamut (buy whole grains here)
1 cup water (buy a Berkey water filter here)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or whey* (buy apple cider vinegar here, how to make whey here)

*Alternately, you can omit the apple cider/whey, skip the soaking, and use very freshly ground flour

  1. In a large bowl, pour in the flour and make a well in the center.
  2. Pour in the water and the apple cider vinegar and work into a dough with your hands or by stirring with a short wooden spoon (for better leverage).
  3. After the dough comes together, cover with a towel and a kitchen plate and let soak 12-24 hours.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or so until the surface of the dough becomes smooth.  Press with your hands to flatten as much as possible into a large rectangular shape.  Then roll out to 1/8-inch thick.
  5. Using a pizza roller, knife, or pastry scraper, cut into thin strips, as thin as possible.
    (See the right side of the photo below.)  Let the pasta hang out and dry while you make the tetrazini.pasta dough, cut into squares and fettucine

Fresh Herb Chicken Tetrazini

6 tablespoons butter (buy grass-fed butter here), divided
6 tablespoons freshly ground flour OR arrowroot powder (buy whole grains here, arrowroot powder)
4 tablespoons fresh chopped sage, divided, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, divided, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (how to make chicken stock)
1 1/2 cups cream (find raw cream near you here)
1/2 dry sherry OR very dry white wine
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (buy grass-fed cheeses here), divided
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
1 pound linguine or vermicelli (1 recipe’s worth Fresh Pasta, above)
4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste (buy organic salts here, peppers here)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter the baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Whisk in the flour or arrowroot powder, then add 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, and whisk together.  Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Whisk in the stock, cream, and sherry (or wine), whisking occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the sauce into a bowl adding another 1/2 cup parmesan to it and stirring it all together.  Set the bowl aside.
  5. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet.  Add the mushrooms and the remaining 2 tablespoons each of fresh sage and thyme and saute until the mushrooms are nice and brown.  Remove from the heat and reserve 1 cup of the mushrooms; set aside.
  6. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes in boiling, salted water until tender.  Drain.
  7. Combine the sauce from the saucepan, the mushrooms from the skillet, and the drained pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Add the chopped chicken and stir together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Pour the reserved sauce over the top of the mixture, then sprinkle the top with the reserved mushrooms and remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with additional chopped sage and thyme.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.  Then turn on the broiler and broil until the top is nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately!