The Melaniff Family Cookbook

Ham Tetrazzini

The dish is named after Italian opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini.

It is widely believed to have been invented ca. 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, then chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident.


1 (7 oz) package spaghetti

1/2 Lb fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 C onion, chopped

1/4 C butter, melted

1/4 C all-purpose flour

2 C milk

2 C half-and-half

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/8 t garlic powder

3/4 C parmesan cheese, grated, divided

2 C ham, cooked


Cook spaghetti according to directions, omitting salt. Drain well, and set aside.

Sauté mushrooms and onion in butter in a large skillet until tender. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in seasonings and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

Spoon half of spaghetti into a lightly greased 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Pour one-third of sauce over spaghetti; sprinkle with half of ham. Repeat layers, ending with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over casserole.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes

Serves 6

From The Southern Living Cookbook, 1987, page 325