I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I have an amazing, supportive family; understanding and caring friends; and a wonderful fiancé who has stood by my side during both good and difficult times. We did have some family members pass-away this year – my grandmother (in her 90s), our family dog (18 years old), and the family cat (21 years old); and we had one new addition to the family, my parent’s new puppy, Molly.
This year, Adam and I spent a lovely Thanksgiving with my family in Vermont. Though there were only four of us, my mother cooked for an army! She ordered a 23 pound turkey, made five pies, and the usual side dishes. Needless to say, she sent us home with leftovers. Usually we just reheat the same foods until they are gone, but this year we just couldn’t get through the leftover turkey fast enough. I started hunting for Thanksgiving leftover recipes, and was tempted by the soups, enchiladas, etc. However, I’ve made a few soups and stews, quesadillas and burritos recently, so I thought I’d try something new – Turkey Tetrazzini.
I’m a huge fan of noodle casserole – I make a mean noodle kugel! I love the crunchy topping with the creamy, cheesy, noodley goodness. Some tetrazzini dishes are made with canned soup. I wanted a bit more of a challenge, and chose a recipe from Simply Recipes, where the cream sauce is made from scratch. I also liked the idea of adding Swiss cheese and peas to give depth to the traditional cream sauce and mushrooms. I used Panko flakes instead of bread crumbs, though I think bread crumbs would have browned up a little better. I added a little onion, I just think onions really help bring out the beauty of mushrooms.Turkey Tetrazzini (adapted from Simply Recipes) Printable Recipe
12 oz egg noodles, spaghetti, linguine or other pasta
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 4-5 cups)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups of milk
1 cup half & half
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine (or vermouth or sherry)
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided into 1/3 and 1/3 cups)
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
juice from 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Ground nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup Panko flakes (or bread crumbs)
1/2 of an onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish. Start heating 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water. Cook the mushrooms and onions in 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes.
About now, put the pasta into the boiling water you’ve heated. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe.
Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, half & half, broth, and the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.
When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.
In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden. Enjoy!