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  • Charles Fortson, Jr.

Tetrazzini for Southern tastes

By Guest Cooking Columnist Charles Fortson, Jr

IRS opens the Jackson Taxpayer Assistance Center on March 11

Tetrazzini has an Italian ring, but a rich creamy sauce with shrimp or crawfish from the Gulf makes it a Southern treat.

The creamy sauce prepared like you would make Southern gravy is the secret.


1 lb. of thin spaghetti (or rice if your prefer)

1 large onion (chopped)

1 green onion bunch (chopped)

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of parsley

2 pounds of small shrimp or crawfish

3 caps of crab oil

1 can Rotel tomatoes & pepper (drained)

1 quart Half & Half whipping cream

White flour

Salt and pepper


Olive oil

Velveeta Cheese

Shredded mild cheddar cheese


1. Pre-cook onions and garlic until tender in mix of one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil heated on medium to low fire.

2. Pre-boil shrimp or crawfish to flavor it. Boil one quart of water and three caps of crab oil with one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of salt in a two-quart sauce pan. Add the shrimp or crawfish and bring to a boil again. Drain and cool.

3. Prepare spaghetti or your favorite pasta. Boil two quarts of water with one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Add broken broken spaghetti, bring to a second boil, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain water and add Rotel tomatoes and pepper, pre-cooked onions and garlic, and parsley.

4. Prepare creamy sauce. Stir white flour into the whipping cream over low heat to make a thick gravy. Add Velvetta Cheese and the shredded cheddar cheese until the gravy has the thickness your desire.

5. Combine the prepared spaghetti, creamy sauce and shrimp or crawfish. Keep warm and serve with garlic bread. Serves eight.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Charles Fortson, Jr., is proprietor-chef at Uncle Ray’s across from Lake Lincoln State Park. He makes lunches and dinners to take out or for table service, while also operating a convenience store and bait shop at his Sunset Road location. Follow his cooking tips on Uncle Ray’s Facebook page or call 601-643-0174 to check on his daily specials.


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