Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Topping – an intensely flavourful, very satisfying comfort food idea for leftover turkey or chicken. Heck, I’d even roast an extra chicken on a Sunday, just to have this on Monday!
With Thanksgiving on the horizon for our American friends, my mind turned again to leftover turkey ideas and after a little research, this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe was the result. It’s one more to add to our growing collection of 22 Leftover Turkey Recipe you can find here.
So where did this tetrazzini idea come from, I wondered. Wikipedia says, “The dish is named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It is widely believed to have been invented circa 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident.
However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Good Housekeeping published the first reference to turkey tetrazzini in October 1908, saying readers could find the dish of cooked turkey in a cream sauce, with spaghetti, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, and bread crumbs on top, at “the restaurant on Forty-second street.”
As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we never had turkey or chicken tetrazzini but the first simple recipe I ever saw had canned cream of mushroom soup in it. Anyone who knows me or my choice of ingredients well, will tell you that ain’t happening around here any time soon!
I was intrigued by reading that original versions had parmesan and/or almond topping, instead of just bread crumbs. I liked the idea of that. I thought the almonds would add a little bit of extra flavour and a bit more of a textural element to the dish.
Both Spouse and I loved it and our friends who sampled it thought it was a great topping too. The whole thing was very flavourful and even I went back for seconds, which is quite unusual.
This is another one to put on your list for after the Holidays this year, but don’t wait if you don’t want to, try it with chicken after a Sunday roast dinner. Heck, I’d even roast an extra chicken on a Sunday, just to have this on Monday!
Like this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe?
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- 1/2 pound dry fusilli pasta or other pasta of choice
- 3 cups diced leftover turkey
- 1/4 cup finely diced pancetta or bacon
- 1 whole sweet pepper finely diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dry oregano
- pinch of salt to season
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Start by cooking the pasta to al dente (or slightly under). Drain and set aside.
Finely dice the sweet pepper and set aside.
In a large saucepan or small dutch oven, brown the pancetta until a little crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the mushrooms and sauté them until they get some good brown colour. Set them aside with the pancetta and peppers.
In the microwave, scald the milk and turkey stock almost to boiling
In the saucepan or dutch oven that you cooked the pancetta and mushrooms, melt the butter and add the flour, black pepper, salt, nutmeg & garlic.
Cook together over medium heat for 2 minutes until foamy.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour in scalded milk and stock mixture in about three additions, allowing the sauce to thicken and come back to a simmer after each addition.
Continue to cook for 2 more minutes stirring constantly.
Butter an 8-10 cup casserole dish.
In a large bowl, stir together the pasta, turkey, pancetta, mushrooms, bell pepper and sauce.
When well combined stir in the 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Pour into the prepared casserole dish/
Mix together the ground almonds and the other half cup of finely grated Parmesan.
Sprinkle on the topping over the pasta mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbling well.
Allow the tetrazzini to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the pasta to absorb any excess moisture and thicken the sauce.
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