Sharon emailed me last week and said that she had a hanker'n for some Turkey Tetrazzini a la Slow Cooker. I didn't know that I had a hanker'n until I read her email and the recipes she linked for me to look at.
But I did. I seemed to have had a hanker'n. She sent links to Epicurious, AllRecipes, and Food Network.
After reading through the recipes, I wrote one of my own to work with the slow cooker. It worked, eventually. I at first didn't include enough pasta, so my tetrazzini was more like wallpaper paste than a creamy pasta dish. This was easily fixed, however, and the end result was a nice comforting meal we enjoyed on an unseasonably chilly night.
Thank you, Sharon!
1 (16-ounce package) dry spaghetti noodles (maybe divided. Please read the entire recipe and decide for yourself how you'd like to proceed!) I used brown rice noodles from TJ's.
1-2 pounds turkey breast tenders, cut in small chunks
5 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, chunked
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups chicken broth (check for gluten!)
salt to taste at the table
Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker, and spray the inside well with cooking spray.
What I did: I initially used a half-package of spaghetti noodles, and broke them in half, and laid them on the bottom of the stoneware. I then layered the other ingredients on top, in the order I typed up above. But! after cooking on low for 3 hours, I noticed that the noodles pretty much disappeared, so I cooked the remainder of the package on the stovetop in heavily salted water (super-heavily salted, the top of the container fell off!) until barely al dente, then stirred the drained pasta into the slow cooker.
I then cooked on low for only one more hour, then clicked it to warm for another 3. The turkey was fully cooked, the noodles were perfect, but the onion that I didn't cut fine enough had still a bit of a crunch.
So. My dilemma is in deciding if it would have been better to put the entire package of pasta into the machine and then layer the ingredients in and cook on low for 3-5 hours (not high!) or if it is better to leave all the pasta out, and just cook it on the stove, then mix it in.
Or, do what I did.
I just don't know.
I do know that this worked, but it certainly wasn't a very hands-off meal. And we ate it, even the leftovers for lunch the next day (the onion was soft by then!)
other pasta dishes that work well:
buffalo chicken lasagna
macaroni and cheese