The weather has been down right rude here in Heidelberg.  While every one else is enjoying spring sun and gradually transitioning into summer, we here are stuck with grey, dismal weather.  It is a mixture of cloud, rain and dampness. It is the kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head.

Every cloud has a silver lining though, and one positive result of this crummy weather is that it has pushed me to the kitchen to make some comfort food in order to warm my soul.  Thank goodness for Simon’s Mom’s recipe for turkey tetrazzini, which certainly fit the bill.  This is one of these simple casserole dishes that remind you of being a kid and comfort you just like a mother would. Thank you Beth!

The recipe is as simple as can be.  Beth encouraged us to tweak it and add some extra flavour.  We did a little of that and I have added what we tried.  Beth calls for leftover turkey or chicken meat.  I think the dark meat of a roasted version of one these two feathered friends would be best for this recipe.  Sadly we didn’t have any and our store only had breast, so we made do and it was still delicious.

Despite the fact that it feels more like winter than spring, we honored the season by serving it with some fresh, green asparagus with butter.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  What sort of comfort foods do you enjoy in rainy, cold weather?  I think I will need some more ideas, because an end to the rain appears nowhere in sight.

Beth’s Turkey Tetrazzini

adapted from Beth Holmes’ recipe with a few additions marked with *

  • leftover turkey or chicken meat (we used two turkey breasts) cut into small bits
  • onion*
  • garlic cloves*
  • thyme*
  • white mushrooms (Beth said these are optional)
  • a few handfuls of spaghetti (enough for two full portions) broken into quarters
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream
  • grated parmesan

Preheat your oven to 375*F.  Butter a large casserole dish.

Boil some water and toss in your spaghetti.  Don’t cook it too long as it will continue to cook in the sauce in the oven (I’d say go 3/4 of the way to how you like it).  Drain and set aside.

Heat some butter or oil in a pan and fry up the onion and garlic until translucent. Add some thyme and salt and pepper.  Toss in the chopped mushrooms and if you aren’t lucky enough to have precooked turkey meat, then add cubed, raw meat at this stage.  Cook until the meat is mostly done.

Meanwhile, in another pot, mash the butter into the flour and set onto heat.  Gradually stir in your stock.  Depending on how salty the stock is, add some extra salt and pepper to taste.  We happened to have leftover garlic butter which we used here.  Once it has thickened, remove from heat and then stir in the milk.  Mix the spaghetti, turkey and sauce together in the casserole and then top with parmesan cheese.  Bake until brown and bubbly.  My favourite part is the crunchy noodles on top!