Sunday, June 10, 2018

Turkey Penne

I struck upon an interesting recipe today:

1. Roughly but finely chop a few slices of turkey with a butter knife. Don't cut cleanly; be sloppy.

Use real roast turkey, not cold cuts. I like the "Simply" Sliced Roast Turkey Breast at Trader Joe's, which is also great in panini.

As for the sloppy cut, two reasons: a smooth cut emphasizes turkey's slightly slimy texture...and a more shredded cut absorbs more oil and flavors.

2. Cut several garlic cloves as thinly as possible.

3. Cook pasta (fwiw I used small penne rigate, i.e. the ridged kind).

4. In a hot wok or sauce pan lightly coated with oil, add turkey and garlic and stir rapidly for just a few seconds.

5. Add fresh spinach, a handful or two of chopped firm tomatoes (I used mini San Marzanos from Trader Joe's, cut once lengthwise and four times crosswise), and leftover zucchini (recipe below). Don't let anything actually cook, you just want to wilt the spinach and heat and combine the ingredients. Once spinach is soft and your kitchen smells of something other than garlic, it's done.

Don't worry, the tomatoes will work well even if they don't have time to soften much, but a variation would be to start them before the turkey, with garlic and perhaps some chopped onion.

6. Kill the heat.

7. Drain pasta and return it to pot. Add one or two TBS of quality extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup or more of grated cheese (parmigiano, normally, but gouda works well, too) and stir rapidly and violently.

8. Add the turkey mixture, continuing violent stirring (I turn up the heat for this part, but you need to have a feel for the timing....trial and error!).

9. Serve.

See if you agree that the turkey - garlicky, which is unusual - doesn't pick up some of the substantive meatiness of ground beef.

Here's how I do the zucchini:

1. Wash zucchini, don't peel.

2. Slice once lengthwise, then make 1/4" crosswise cuts.

3. Heat skillet on medium high with a light coating of olive oil.

4. Add zucchini slices in one single layer and leave them alone until light golden brown (around 3 mins).

5. Add chopped garlic and chili powder (as always, I like Penzey's Aleppo Pepper), and immediately start stirring.

6. Stirring constantly, cook another 3-4 minutes, until zucchini just starts to soften. Salt and pepper (plenty of pepper, despite the Aleppo pepper) after cooking.

Make a lot (I do several consecutive batches, wiping out the pan each time), so there are leftovers for accompanying future entries, or to add to leftover stews or soup.

All recipes in reverse chronological order

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