One thing you can do with leftover turkey

This is going to be personal. But quick, so just bear with me. Sometimes it gets really hard trying to be the best for those you love. It weighs on you. Like you can't seem to breath until you know your people are well, healthy, smiling and thriving. I feel like I'm running out of fuel and breaking at the knees with the finish line in sight. It hurts man. I feel like I just can't do it and I just want to go to bed. I get really tired sometimes. I just want you people to be ok. 

So that's why I turn to cooking. It's one thing I can count on to make not only myself but others happy. And it shuts them up so I don't have to hear all the things they need me to do for them (that was a joke).

I know you have a bunch of turkey left so here is a little pasta dish to make with leftover turkey and maybe a few other leftover ingredients.

Leftover Turkey Pasta

1 16-ounce packet of linguine or any noodle pasta you have on hand
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons of butter
Splash of white wine
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup or more of leftover turkey
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
A handful of chopped sage
Parmesan cheese (as much as your heart desires)
More salt and pepper to taste.

Slice your onion thinly and caramelize them in butter in a large pot. If you don't know how, I talk about caramelizing onions in this post. Once browned, soft and caramel-y, turn the heat up to medium high and add your wine. Reduce the wine by half; you shouldn't smell any alcohol once it has cooked down.

Lower heat back to medium and add your sage and turkey, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir everything up. Cook for about 5 minutes. In the mean time boil your pasta to al dente (or to a point that it has a bite or is a little hard).

Add the cream into the tomato sauce and stir. Add more salt and pepper to the sauce if needed. Cook for another couple minutes. Once your pasta is al dente (you'll have to try a noodle a few times in between the 4 to 5 minutes it has been boiling away) drain the pasta and place into the sauce. Before stirring the pasta into the sauce grate some parmesan cheese directly onto the pasta. Then stir pasta into the sauce. Continue to cook for another two minutes or until the noodles are soft to your liking. 

Add more cheese when you plate!


Questions that I assume you'll ask

Why did you bring these flavors together?

I wanted to make a pasta dish using sage, turkey and the leftover cream I had from Thanksgiving. Instead of making a really rich dish much like we had at Thanksgiving, I wanted to make something with a little more zest but that was still comforting. I think adding cream to this pulled the flavors of sage, turkey and tomato together. I don’t think it would have worked well without the cream.

Why do you cook the pasta to al dente?

“Al dente” means “the tooth.” When cooking pasta, cooking it to al dente means cooking it enough to have a bite or firmness. I usually do this when I will continue cooking the pasta right in the sauce. 

Why do you grate the cheese onto the pasta first?

If you grate the cheese onto hot pasta, the cheese will stick to the pasta and the sauce will stick to the cheese that is stuck on the pasta. (said Giada Di Laudentiis)

Why do you use wine? 

It adds flavor. 

Do I have to use wine?


Can I use red wine?

You could.. but don’t. Not for this tomato based sauce at least.

What if I don’t have sage?

Then any herb is pretty much ok.

Can I make a healthier version?

Sure. Just swap out all the ingredients for lettuce.