This is a great comfort classic that is simple to make and is a great way to use leftovers. Perfect on a chilly fall or winter day. Sevres 4-6.
3 cups diced, cooked turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 T chopped garlic
2 t thyme
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms. You can use plain white button mushrooms, or baby bella which would give the dish a richer flavor
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
½ cup chicken stock, plus more to thin the sauce if needed
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8-10 ounces of dry pasta, cooked al dente. I prefer to use fettuccini; if you like smaller pastas, choose one with ridges to help hold the sauce.
In a small pot, heat the butter until it is melted and starts to bubble. Turn heat to medium, add the onion and garlic and sweat until the onions are tender (3-4 minutes). Add the thyme and mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are done (about 5 minutes). Add the flour to form the roux (the thickener for the sauce). Slowly stir in the milk to ensure it mixes completely and smoothly. Then mix in the chicken stock. If the sauce is too thick, add chicken stock until it runs smoothly off of a spoon. If sauce is to thin, mix 2 T of flour with 2T of water to make a slurry, and stir into sauce. Add turkey to the sauce and simmer until the turkey is fully heated through. If the turkey is diced small enough, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
To serve, place pasta in a bowl and spoon over the turkey and sauce over top, and give it a mix to warm up the pasta. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and enjoy. Or, instead of parmesan cheese, top pasta with shredded cheddar cheese and broil in your oven until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.
For sides, a nice garden salad with a maple vinaigrette and some warm garlic bread would hit the spot!
Matthew Mullen is the owner of The Upper Room Family Restaurant in Drayton.