I always make a Thanksgiving turkey because I love the leftovers turned into sandwiches, soups, and my son’s favorite, turkey tetrazzini. I usually use up my last scraps of meat, and the salty kiss of some killer parmesan with this pasta casserole. We also love Turkey a la King – it’s creamy and sublime, Old World and rustic in the best farmhouse sense possible. Served with a pot of long-grain Carolina rice, it can’t be beat.
- 12 oz. dried pasta (I like short macaroni or ditali best)
- 2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 pinches ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup minced onion
- 3/4 cup minced celery
- 1 cup blanched peas (frozen are fine)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 8 oz. white aged cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice, grated
- 3 oz. Reggiano parmesan, grated
- 3 cups leftover diced turkey meat (chicken works beautifully as well)
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, tossed in 3 tablespoons melted butter
Cook pasta fully according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place herbs and spices, butter, and flour in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, making a nice roux.
Add vegetables and cook until onions are glassy. Add stock in thirds, whisking continuously.
Add half and half.
When it simmers and thickens, add cheddar and two-thirds of the Reggiano parmesan.
Whisk well, and stir in turkey with a spoon. Add pasta, season with sea salt and ground white pepper. Spill the turkey mixture into buttered casserole pan.
Mix breadcrumbs with remaining parmesan and cover casserole with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees until bubbling and hot and top is crispy.