Ham (or Ham and Turkey) Tetrazzini
Historians and popular culture mavens like to argue about the origins of this popular casserole, but all agree that the dish was created for Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, whose appetite was apparently as large as her legendary voice. The original wasn’t a casserole but a bed of spaghetti topped with a velouté sauce enriched with poultry, mushrooms, and possibly slivered almonds, and finished with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. For at least three-quarters of a century, however, the more usual rendition has been this crumb-topped casserole. Here in the South, the poultry is often either supplemented with ham or altogether replaced by it. If you’re buying ham rather than using up leftovers, choose cooked ham that isn’t “smoky” or sweet.