I decided to repurpose half of the Maple-Glazed Quorn Turk’y Roast that survived our Christmas meal to make Turkey Tetrazzini. Turkey Tetrazzini is one of those old fashioned comfort food meals your mom probably made after holidays to save money and to make sure that nothing went to waste.
Maybe your mom didn’t use a fancy name for her casserole, but I’m going to bet you’ve had some type of turkey noodle casserole (or maybe chicken noodle casserole) that looked very much like this traditional comfort food dish.
Just for the record, Turkey Tetrazzini is definitely not an Italian recipe. (Marcella Hazan would be rolling over in her grave at the thought of making pasta like this!)
According to Wikipedia, it was probably named for early- twentieth century Italian opera diva Luisa Tetrazzini. Various American chefs claim to have created the dish for Miss Tetrazzini (who looks pretty darn chunky in her photos), but Good Housekeeping published it first around 1908. Since it has fairly flexible ingredients, there are a lot of variations in recipe books and on the internet, but it usually contains poultry, pasta, a cream sauce, mushrooms, cheese, and breadcrumbs. (BTW, click here for GH’s current version of this comfort classic.)
This was the first time I tried shredding the Quorn Turk’y Roast, and I was surprised at how this simple step allowed me to incorporate the meaty flavor throughout the dish.
Although your mom might have used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup as the basis for her sauce, I made a quick sauce using organic cream cheese and 2% organic milk. (If you are unfamiliar with organic cream cheese, please try Organic Valley’s Neufchatel (low-fat) Cream Cheese. It is a great product.) I intensified the mushroom flavor with Better than Bouillon Organic Mushroom Base. Since the Mushroom Base has a fair amount of sodium, I add no additional salt to the sauce – only freshly ground black pepper.
I thought DeCecco Spinach Linguine would give my dish more flavor than plain white pasta, but a whole wheat pasta would also be a good (although less colorful) choice. (Please note that DeCecco also makes a lovely spinach fettuccine, and a Tagliatelle all’uovo paglia e fieno, but I went with what I had in my pantry!)
The frozen green peas I used were organic, and it is so simple to make your own whole grain bread crumbs from bread that is past its prime for sandwiches.
I can’t say that this was the most healthy dish I’ve ever made, but as a way of using up leftovers on a cold, rainy day, it sure tasted good!
- ½ fully cooked Quorn Turk’y Roast, shredded
- 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed
- 8-10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- 1 8 ounce package organic low fat cream cheese
- 1-2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Mushroom Base
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup organic vegetable stock
- 1½ cup organic low-fat milk
- 1 1/ 2 cups grated Parmesan, divided
- 12 ounce package DeCecco Spinach Linguine
- 1 cup green peas, frozen
- 3 slices whole grain bread (crumbled in the food processor)
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into small dots
- Grate the leftover Quorn Turk'y Roast with a box grater.
- Grease a large Pyrex or ceramic baking dish, and turn the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a large covered pot of water for pasta on to boil.
- Melt the butter in a large heated skillet, and saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute, and then add the mushrooms. Salute until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices.
- Stir in the white wine and then organic cream cheese. Break it up well and fully incorporate it into the sauce.
- Add the Better than Bouillion mushroom base, black pepper, the vegetable stock and then the milk, and continue to cook over medium heat. The sauce will appear to be a bit thin, but it will thicken as it bakes in the oven. Add about ¾ cup of the grated Parmesan to the sauce.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine about 5 minutes, and then add the frozen peas and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove a cup of pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta into a colander and put it back in the pasta pot.
- Stir the sauce into the pasta and add the grated Quorn Turk'y Roast. If there is still a lot of sauce clinging to the sides of the skillet, add a bit of the hot pasta water to the skillet, scrape the sides, and pour it into the pasta pot.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking pan. Mix together the breadcrumbs and the remaining ¾ cup of grated Parmesan, and sprinkle over the top of the pasta. Dot with a bit of unsalted butter, and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.