Turkey tetrazzini popular among pasta lovers

Posted March 18, 2010, at 6:15 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:49 a.m.

Turkey must be a working girl’s best friend. Even if all you have is a breast, you can roast it for dinner on the weekend, and then shave off thin slices for sandwiches or to add to a lunch salad. If you make gravy, hot turkey sandwiches are a possibility. If you do the whole bird, there will be enough for a couple more hot meals and glorious soup, too.

A favorite turkey dish around here is merely turkey chunks in gravy tucked into a casserole with a blanket of prepared stuffing on top, baked in the oven until all is bubbly. It is the easiest thing I can think of to do. Tetrazzini, on the other hand, will take a little more time and will be popular with the pasta-loving set.

I looked at a lot of turkey tetrazzini recipes (Luisa Tetrazzini was a popular opera singer in the early 1900s, and the story is that the dish was named for her.) There are lots of variations, but the theme seems to be cooked turkey cut up and added to a creamy cheesey sauce with onions and mushrooms, usually, baked on or mixed into cooked spaghetti. Some recipes include green pepper or peas, or almonds; some use milk and more flour for the sauce, others use cream and less flour. Some have sherry. I say, suit yourself.

In this recipe, I used homemade turkey broth. Whenever I have a turkey, I cook up the carcass to make broth from it, with bay leaf, a carrot, onion, some peppercorns and the like added. Then I freeze it. If you don’t have turkey broth, use chicken.

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Makes 6-8 servings.

½ stick butter

3-4 tablespoons flour

1 small onion, diced

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

3 cups broth, turkey or chicken

¼ cup sherry

1 cup cream

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3-4 cups cooked turkey, mix of white and dark

Half-pound cooked spaghetti

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 9-by-13 baking dish or deep casserole. Melt butter, add onions and mushrooms, and cook until they are barely soft. Whisk in flour, cook until it is frothy. Add broth, cream and sherry, and cook until it is thickened. Add the turkey. Heat all together, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Mix into or spread the turkey-mushroom combination over spaghetti. You can grate a little more Parmesan on top of the casserole if you want before baking it. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

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