After Thanksgiving winds down, I always look forward to using some of the turkey leftovers to make turkey tetrazzini. Although it sounds like an Italian dish, tetrazzini was created in America at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, and named for opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, who was a long-time hotel resident.
- 12 oz. spaghetti or other pasta or noodles
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus a little more for the casserole pan
- 10 oz. white mushrooms
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 14-oz can chicken broth (or homemade)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 cups cooked turkey meat, diced
- 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided in half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano with the bread crumbs and set aside to use later.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta just to al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the mushrooms.
- Over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they’ve given off most of their liquid—about 5 minutes. The mushrooms will reduce considerably in size. Reduce the heat to low and add the flour to the mushrooms. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, wine, and milk to the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes, until it thickens a little.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti, the turkey, the mushroom sauce, the peas, and 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir to mix well. The kids can help out with the stirring and mixing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. I like LOTS of black pepper in my tetrazzini. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-qt. casserole.
- Sprinkle the Parmigiano-bread crumb mixture over the top of the tetrazzini and dot with 1 Tbs. butter, cut into little pieces. Cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the tetrazzini is bubbly and the top is golden and crunchy.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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