Last Friday my husband came home with some roast turkey, which he had bought on special at our local Safeway. I got inspired to make something with it, so I combed through some online recipes to pick up ideas. Even though I had already published an article on how to make turkey Tetrazzini, I made up another recipe. I printed out three different versions, took them to the grocery store (Real Food, to be exact), and bought ingredients that I thought would make it a tasty dish. It turned out to be a success; I got compliments from both my husband and daughter, who can be a fussy eater.
The history of the dish is interesting. Here’s a vivid description of its San Francisco origins from the CookingLight.com community board:
“There is a monument on Market Street (a major thoroughfare) called Lotta’s Fountain – a gift to the city from singer/entertainer Lotta Crabtree in 1875. In 1906, with virtually every water main in town broken, Lotta’s fountain pulled through with enough water to save the extraordinary Palace Hotel, a gem of the city. Ever since then, every April 18, (earthquake) survivors have gathered at the fountain at 5:00 AM, in remembrance of the catastrophe. But in 1910 a special Christmas Eve concert was held at the fountain to reward locals for their efforts in rebuilding the city, and Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini – who’d captured the city’s heart some years before – gave a free performance. 250,000 people showed up for it. Legend has it that this dish was created by a local restaurateur in her honor.”
- 2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
- 1 cup cooked broccoli or other green vegetable, like peas
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups broken spaghetti, vermicelli, or other thin pasta
- 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- 1 cup shredded cheese, either cheddar or Parmesan
- ½ cup nonfat milk (you can also use chicken broth)
- Season with salt, pepper, and dry mustard, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions; set aside when done.
- In a large bowl, combine turkey with veggies, yogurt, soup, half the cheese, seasonings, and milk.
- Place pasta on the bottom of a greased 9×13” baking pan.
- Spoon the turkey mixture on top of the pasta and stir together.
- Add milk as needed, to keep dish moist.
- Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top, covering the entire dish.
- Bake uncovered at 375° for 30 minutes. Cheese should be bubbling when done.
This is one of those dishes that will taste even better a day or two later, so be sure to enjoy it a couple of times during the week if you can.