Turkey Tettrazini is an American dish named after an Italian opera star, Luisa Tettrazini, which allegedly originated in San Francisco, where she resided for years. However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Whatever the origin, it’s a delectable dish usually made with often diced fowl or seafood, mushrooms, and almonds in a butter/cream and parmesan sauce flavored with wine or sherry and stock vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots. It is often served hot over spaghetti or some similarly thin pasta, garnished with lemon or parsley, and topped with additional almonds and/or Parmesan cheese. The perfect bite – some of the salty, cheesy crust, a bit of the tender, meaty mushrooms, a couple silky strands of pasta, a chunk of turkey, all covered in a warm, steak-like, earthy sauce. What better way to use up leftover turkey?
This recipe was adapted from Michelle Urvater at the Food Network Kitchen.
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons Madeira or Marsala wine
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half
3 cups leftover cooked turkey, cut into ¾-inch dice
1/2 pound fetticuine or linguine cooked to al dente stage
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons dry Panko bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley to serve
Step 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once finished, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Set aside and keep warm.
Step 2Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the mushrooms, shallots, thyme, and nutmeg, and saute, over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the mushrooms have absorbed the butter and are tender, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir in the Madeira or Marsala wine and evaporate over medium-high heat. Pour mushrooms into a bowl and set aside.
Step 3In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When foaming subsides, whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, whisking continuously. You’ll want it to turn a light brown color.
Step 4Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook, over low heat, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the half and half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the mushroom mixture and turkey.
Step 5Spray a 1½ quart casserole lightly with Pam or similar cooking spray. Layer half of pasta, then half of mushroom and turkey mixture, and repeat with pasta and turkey mushroom mix until it’s layered like a lasagna.
Step 6Scatter Parmesan and bread crumbs over the top and dot with remaining tablespoons of butter. Heat for 35-40 minutes or until heated through, sauce is bubbling and top is browning. If you wish, slide casserole under the broiler for a moment to brown the top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.