Pasta of the Season

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Sam Sifton, food columnist of the New York Times, speaks about the “shoulder of the season, that time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. ” Here’s something of my take on the season, pasta in mind, before I head back to work correcting stacks of papers.

For Thanksgiving, I created a  new lasagne dish to add to my repertoire. I layered the homemade lasagne: on the bottom, thin slices of squash ( I don’t know what kind it was as it was a dark reddish-orange) roasted in olive oil and thyme. More pasta. Next layer, white sauce and shredded Monterey Jack. Next, a layer of sliced mushrooms sautéed in garlic and white wine. More pasta…then a layer of chopped swiss  chard and purple kale cooked in onion, olive oil, and a touch of butter. The top layer was a simple bechamel sauce with more cheese. After it baked for about an hour in the oven, I let it sit for 20 minutes so it would not lose its shape when cut. And voila! You can really see the layers!

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On the topic of pastas of the season, my friend Cristina asked for a recipe to make use of leftover turkey. Of all the recipes I researched everywhere from Allrecipes to Fine Cooking, from tetrazzini to turkey pho, I didn’t find any with pasta and one that could make use of what you have already in your pantry. Last night I made a simple pasta that you can adapt with whatever ingredients you have on  hand.

Begin by putting a pot of water on the stove to boil. Your sauce will take as much time to make as cooking the pasta. I used 3/4 of a box of penne. Choose a short pasta with this recipe as the sauce sticks better to it.

1 shallot finely chopped

1/2 onion finely chopped

1 carrot diced

2-3 tbl olive oil

2 tbl butter

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Saute’ these lightly, first the onions, then the carrots in a wide pan. Season with salt and pepper.Then add:

2 cups of chopped cooked turkey

1 tsp thyme

Once this has cooked about five minutes, it may a bit dry. I added 3/4 cup of turkey stock. This really added lots of flavor! Then add:

 

 

1 cup frozen peas (now you can use mushrooms too)

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Add a bit more water if the mixture looks dry. I added 1/4 cup cream (but this is optional). Correct the seasoning as needed. Drain the pasta al dente reserving some of the water in case you need it.

 

 

 

 

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Add the pasta to the pan and stir, completing some of the cooking. To finish I added 1 cup Monterey Jack, which melts quickly and gives the pasta a rich texture. Over medium heat, give it another quick stir and serve with a freshly grated parmigiano.

A tasty alternative to your usual turkey leftover dilemma and highly adaptable to other substitutions. Buon appetito!

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Pasta of the Season

  1. Both dishes look yummy! Hope grading papers is as creatively satisfying as these recipes! I can’t wait to try the penne in particular, since I’m looking for something a little unusual to do with some of the turkey I have left.

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  2. Well, now we know what you have been doing today! Much more fun than grading papers and looks yummy! so, now I have 2 more pasta recipes to add to my file. Thank you Vicki!!

    Like

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