Turkey Tetrazzini

serves: 6 to 8 servings

What to do with the leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, in my house they love Turkey Tetrazzini. Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini is a dish named after the famed Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, who was also known as the Florentine Nightingale. She was a favorite with the San Francisco audiences and it is said that the dish was invented there for her. The history is charming but the dish is also delicious, economical, feeds a crowd and easy to make. Once the ingredients have been combine you let the oven do the rest and who does not like a bubbling baked pasta out of the oven studded with bits and pieces of turkey.

2½ cups chicken stock
5 tablespoons butter, plus more for the baking dish
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
6 sage leaves, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
½ head broccoli, in small florets
1 pound spaghetti
5 cups leftover turkey, shredded, without skin and bones
1 cup Grana Padano, grated
¼ cup bread crumbs, dry


Butter a 9-by-13 Pyrex or similar sized baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. In a small pot, heat chicken stock. In a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the mushrooms and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until mushrooms lose their moisture and are browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Scrape mushrooms into a bowl.

In the same skillet, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Cook and stir until light tan in color, then season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Whisk in the hot stock, making sure to get out all the lumps. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the milk and nutmeg. Bring back to a simmer and cook until the raw flour taste is gone, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to boiling pasta water. Cook until the spaghetti are very al dente, drop the spaghetti in the broccoli for a few minutes and drain broccoli and spaghetti well. Add turkey, spaghetti and broccoli to the sauce and stir to combine and heat the turkey through. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining grated cheese and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake until top is browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.