I love turkey leftovers so much! I make so much turkey every year for work that I started making leftovers before Thanksgiving this year. This modern riff on “Turkey Tettrazini” is a childhood comfort food for me. It freezes well, too!
Turkey and Gruyere Baked Pasta
- 12 oz. dried pasta, such as fusilli or penne (regular or GF)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 2 cups diced fresh turkey, light or dark meat
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease an 8-by-8 inch baking pan or casserole dish with cooking spray or butter.
- Cook the pasta according to the box instructions. Drain and keep warm.
- While the pasta cooks, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and a teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, cooking until it is fragrant but not burned, about 1 minute more. Add the sherry and increase the heat to medium-high, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle the flour and thyme leaves over the mixture, and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the flour is cooked but not browning. Whisk ½ cup of milk in at a time, whisking constantly until the milk has absorbed into the flour mixture and there are no lumps. (If the milk is added all at once, the base will be lumpy.) Continue to add the milk ½ cup at a time until it is smooth, then simmer over very low heat for 3 minutes. Taste, adding another teaspoon of salt.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded cheese and ¼ cup of the parmesan, then stir in the turkey. Taste again for seasoning, adding more salt and some freshly ground pepper if desired. (Note: this pasta will make the base less salty, so be generous!)
- Drain the pasta and pour it into the saucepan. Stir to combine. Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole dish. Top with the remaining ¼ cup of grated Parmesan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pasta is golden around the edges and a little bubbly. Top with the sprig of thyme and serve immediately.