The Easter ham.
It's not a given, you know. Just because everyone else serves ham (or, for real traditionalists, lamb) on Easter, the Food Police won't come knocking at your door if you dare to defy tradition and serve something else as the main dish.
Like lasagna, as my Italian in-laws often do.
Or roast turkey. After all, where is it writ that turkey can ONLY be served at Thanksgiving?
Admittedly, it may be difficult to find a whole fresh turkey at any time of the year outside November. But fresh or frozen turkey breast (for white-meat fans), and turkey drumsticks and thighs (for proponents of dark meat), are both readily available.
Roast enough of either, and you'll have one of my favorite dishes:
Which, in the case of turkey, leads to another favorite: Turkey Tetrazzini, a rich, creamy spaghetti-turkey-and-mushroom concoction perfectly positioned to take care of your leftover turkey – be it Thanksgiving, or Easter.
And, speak about perfect positioning, your Zojirushi bread machine can happily step in for your casserole dish and oven, baking a generous 6 to 8 servings of this comforting dish in just 45 minutes, using its bread bucket.
Sound simple? It is.
First, take half a pound of uncooked spaghetti (half of a typical box; regular or fat, not angel hair), and break it into pieces: grab the whole handful and break it in half, then in half again. Cook until al dente, toss with a bit of oil so it doesn't stick to itself, and set aside.
Next, the sauce.
In a frying pan set over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter and sauté 4 cups (8 ounces) mushrooms until they've given up their liquid, and the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, then add 1 3/4 cups (a 14- to 15-ounce can) chicken broth.
Cook until the mixture thickens; this will only take a few minutes.
Add the following:
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional, but tasty)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper
1/2 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Stir until smooth, and remove from the heat.
Place about one-third of the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the bucket.
Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken...
...and one-third of the mushroom sauce (about 1 cup).
Repeat, as follows (note that you've already done the first 3 layers):
Make the topping by combining the following:
2 cups soft, fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup, packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sauce.
Program the machine for bake, 45 minutes; add the keep warm option, if desired.
Press Start. The red light (under Start) should light up. If it doesn't, press Start again.
45 minutes later, you'll see that the topping has browned a bit around the edges, and the filling is hot and perhaps a bit bubbly.
Remove the bucket and transfer the casserole to a serving dish.
Or simply serve the Tetrazzini right from the bucket, in all its creamy, savory deliciousness.
Aside from the requisite turkey sandwich with mayo and coarse black pepper on a fresh-baked soft roll, this is by far my favorite thing to do with leftover turkey. Truly, Tetrazzini is comfort food at its best.
Even better - here's what the pan looks like once you've scooped the casserole out. A quick rinse with hot, soapy water, and you're good to go. Who wants to scrub a casserole dish when you can rinse a bread machine bucket?!
Leftover leftovers? Pack them in individual servings, and freeze. Great for one of those "What's for supper?" days...
For those of you without a bread machine, it's super-simple to bake this in a 9" x 13" pan or similar-size casserole dish.
Simply stir together the turkey/mushrooms/sauce and pasta; spread in the lightly greased pan; and top with the butter/cheese crumbs. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and very lightly browned.
Voilà! A simple, satisfying supper; and a truly tasty way to give leftover turkey a new lease on life.
Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini.
Interested in other ways to use your Zo as a mini oven? Check out these posts:
•Sloppy Joes, creamy risotto, and warm peach cobbler
•Scalloped potatoes, classic bread stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce
•Tomato-onion pasta bake and savory cheese bread
•Easy chocolate pudding cake