Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turkey Tettrazini with Spaghetti Squash

As it nears Thanksgiving, I thought I would gift my faithful readers with one of my favorite recipes for leftover turkey. Not only is this recipe timely because of the upcoming holidays, but also because subscribers to Johnson's Backyard Garden have been receiving spaghetti squash lately. And, in case you weren't sure what to do with spaghetti squash, or if you were struggling with whether or not it was worth preparing, let me assure you that it is the world's most funnest vegetable. Ever. Period.

Turkey Tettrazini with Spaghetti Squash
Best of Gourmet, 1990 edition
1 3 1/2 lb spaghetti squash

3 T unsalted butter
3 T flour
1 bay leaf
3 c cooked turkey, diced
1/2 c heavy cream, or half and half
1 T madeira wine, or dry sherry
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
lemon juice, to taste
nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste
bread crumbs

Begin by preparing the spaghetti squash. Poke holes through the rind of the squash, using any kind of solid sharp kitchen knife (do not use your flatware knives for this). The spaghetti squash is fairly solid, so be prepared for some resistance, and, take caution that the squash doesn't roll out from under you, causing the knife to slip. Poke holes at random all around the surface of the squash. Then, place -- whole -- in a Pyrex baking dish. Put the dish into a 400-degree oven and let roast until softened, about 45-50 minutes. Let the squash cool until you can handle it with your bare hands.

The spaghetti squash, all nicely browned from roasting.
Note random slash-marks all across the surface to let the steam out.

When cool, slice the squash in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out the seeds from the center and discard. Now, prepare for the fun!! Take a fork and pierce the squash anywhere -- anywhere! Now, simply drag the fork towards you. The squash comes apart into strands just like spaghetti. Simple dimple! And, the squash will separate for you, all the way down to its skin, so you really can use all of this vegetable in your cooking. Lay the strands of squash in the bottom of a buttered 9 x 13" baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

 Roasted squash will separate easily from its own skin,
making it possible to use nearly every bit of the vegetable in your cooking.

Use a regular kitchen fork to pull the "spaghetti" out in strands.

The strands of squash will want to come out easily, once you get going.

In a saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add the flour and, like preparing a roux, cook over a moderate heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper. Heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir the turkey into the sauce. Add cream and Madeira. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 c of the cheese. Season with lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Remove the bay leaf, and then pour this turkey mixture over the spaghetti squash. Cover with the remaining cheese, and then sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake in a 350 oven for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly!

1 comment:

Holly Tompkins said...

I think I'll try a variation of this with milk instead of heavy cream and a little less butter. Try to "lighten" it up.