Dad’s Day Turkey Tetrazzini

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Thinking about my sweet father as Father’s Day approaches, I thought I would re-post this recipe and family story, in memory of my Dad…

My father grew up in New York City during the Depression. He discovered Chinatown at an early age, the beginning of his love affair with noodles. When I was a kid, we would take the subway downtown to eat lo mein in tiny basement restaurants on Mott Street.

My Mom, a pretty good sport, made my Dad spaghetti most Saturdays, always served in his special noodle bowl. She drew the line at this favorite of his, so I used to whip up a batch of turkey tetrazzini for just the two of us. She would simply shake her head, watching as we wolfed down noodles, always eaten with our chopsticks.

When we lost my father to cancer twenty years ago, it just about broke my heart.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy – all my love, Tootie X0

Serves one dad and his daughter

  • 1/2 lb. organic linguini
  • 1/2 lb. organic Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, divided use
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 3 cups cooked turkey breast, cut or shredded into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic cultured sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira
  • kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan, divided use
  • 4 oz. fresh organic mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Sweet Hungarian paprika

1. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Heat the stock in microwave for 90 seconds.

2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of butter and sauté the mushrooms until slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, cook for 2 minutes (stirring) and add the hot stock. Stir stock until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, another 5 minutes or so. Turn heat down to simmer.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the turkey to simmering sauce.

4. Once the pasta water is boiling, salt the water, break the linguini in half and add to pot. Cook until al dente, five minutes. Drain the pasta and add to sauce. Cook for a few minutes and turn off heat.

5. Stir in sour cream and Madeira. Correct seasoning. Add 1/2 cup parmesan, stir and turn mixture into 9 x11 glass or ceramic baking dish.

6. Lay mozzarella slices on top of casserole. Mix remaining parmesan with panko and sprinkle evenly over pasta. Dot with small pieces of remaining  1 tablespoon of butter. Dust with paprika for my Hungarian Dad.

7. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling.


“I inherited many gifts from my Dad,
including his love for noodles and, of course, his noodle bowl.”

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26 Responses to Dad’s Day Turkey Tetrazzini

  1. Dominique November 20, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    I love this story and plan to make this one day. What a great blog!!

    • lizthechef November 20, 2010 at 4:10 am #

      You would have so loved Marilou’s husband, not to mention Walter so digging my Dad – or Larry!

    • Jessie June 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      What a handsome guy! I remember his ready smile. You are fortunate to have these rich memories of togetherness,

      • Liz June 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

        Jessie, as just about my oldest friend on the planet, thanks for visiting. I look forward to cooking together across the miles. Congratulations on your retirement from teaching. X0

        • Jessie June 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

          I would love that. Thank you, sweetie.

          • Liz June 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

            Start watching the Barefoot Contessa at 4:00 – and the reruns. I have all her cookbooks and she taught me to be a better cook – but I will still teach you. X0

  2. Gisele aka LA2LAChef June 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Lovely noodle bowl- and yes, every once in a while, I revisit Turkey Tetrazzini, too. It’s completely worth revisits.

    • Liz June 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Thanks, Gisele, hoping to see you during the summer…

  3. Wendy Read June 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    My throat closed with that “chokyness” you get when you remember…beautiful memories Liz, I will be remembering my Dad too.

    • Liz June 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      That’s what I love about you, dear friend, your sweet and sensitive soul X0

  4. Larry Schmitt June 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Such a heart-warming story from your childhood. So nice to repeat it on Father’s Day.
    You are a thoughtful and sensitive woman and daughter

    • Liz June 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      This from my husband, Larry, his first comment ever on my blog. X0 Great weekend ahead, Dad X0

  5. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator June 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Liz, lovely story and photos. My mom always made turkey tetrazzini on the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Often times, she would make a “shortcut” version, basically noodles, turkey, white sauce, and maybe peas. It got to be a family joke, as it can be fairly dreary that way. I imagine THIS version, with the wine and creminis, to be quite delicious. Happy Father’s Day. XOXO

    • Liz June 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      Your comments are so supportive – thanks – and lucky you to have your Dad.

  6. Elizabeth June 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    I just love you honoring your dad. Thanks so much for sharing. Just love this dish. Now this is total comfort food. I love how you would make this for your dad. I know you miss him, but you were so blessed to have such great memories.

    • Liz June 16, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      You are right, it is total comfort food – thanks for your comment today X0

  7. Lynda - TasteFood June 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I love the image of you slurping your noodles with your Dad. Happy Father’s Day, indeed.

    • Liz June 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Hope you and your family enjoy the day tomorrow – special regards to your husband, such a gracious host.

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks June 17, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    What a sweet post, Liz…and that bowl. It’s beautiful! I would love to eat just about anything from it 🙂

    • Liz June 17, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      Thanks, Averie, and it is so generous of you to invite others to post links to our recipes X0

  9. Suzanne June 19, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Liz what a wonderful sweet tribute to your Dad, he sounds like he was a wonderful Father and what a great memory going to the small basement restaurant on Mott Street. I know your Dad is smiling down on you and that beautiful bowl of turkey tetrazzini.

    • Liz June 19, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks for your lovely remarks – I just kind of freeze during Dad’s Day and have stopped posting anything else, dear Suzanne.

    • Liz June 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      You are too sweet, Suzanne – thanks, your comment means a lot to me today.

  10. Sippitysup June 22, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    So what was it about this your mom didn’t like? It sees like a delicious presentation. GREG

  11. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver June 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Such a sweet food memory and so fun that you have your dad’s noodle bowl. You’re so great about sharing and preserving your family memories, you really inspire me to do the same. xoxo

    • Liz June 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      Maybe share some of your own? xo

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