27 December 2009

Beard on Pasta

Christmas is over and you are stuck with leftovers. Well, if you cooked turkey you probably do. And here is the quintessential leftover turkey recipe. Tetrazzini!!

This is from none other than James Beard. Beard put variations of this recipe in several of his books, including Beard on Pasta. It was in his casserole book, his book on American cooking, even in a House & Garden article.

Tetrazzini got its name from Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. In the most authentic story, the dish was invented by Ernest Arbogast, chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. Tetrazzini was a long-time resident and she was fond of the rich spaghetti dish that bears her name.

Turkey Tetrazzini

3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces, plus more for greasing the pan

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups turkey stock or canned chicken broth

1/2 pound spaghetti

1 red bell pepper, julienned



1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pound roast turkey meat, chopped (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and preheat the broiler. Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over low heat in heavy saucepan. Stir in the flour. Continue stirring until the mixture turns a light golden color, about 5 minutes (it should sizzle a bit).

Gradually whisk in 1 1/4 cups stock until incorporated. Bring to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Meanwhile, begin cooking the pasta to al dente. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add the chopped pepper and saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Add sherry to the sauce and simmer briefly to cook off the raw alcohol flavor. Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper. Add the turkey meat and cooked peppers to the sauce and keep over very low heat to warm the turkey while you drain the pasta. At this point, you can thin the sauce with another 1/4 cup or so stock, if needed.

Place the pasta in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over and sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan. Place under the broiler until browned, about 5 minutes.

Put on some Lakmé and give this a try.

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