Christmas is wonderful time for many things, sharing & caring of friends and neighbours. The much anticipated parcels, packages and leftovers! Yes, the seasonal holiday foods tend to leave more then one leftover in the fridge. Especially if plans got a bit changed with lockdowns – I am just as guilty – round here we have at least 5 types of cheese right now. No lie!
Waste Not.. reinvent. Yes, leftovers are just as much a treat as the original! Especially for easy breezy weeknight meals! Simply Grab & Go beyond the soup and stews, although they are wonderful – they can get a tad …um … old.
First on the list is Creamy Alfredo pasta, using fresh Parmesan (yes that is one of the 5 cheeses in my fridge) and some of that lovely cooked turkey! Using a recipe I adapted from the Cozy Cook– to use precooked leftover turkey rather then chicken – it makes a quick but fancy weeknight leftover meal.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt/Pepper, to taste
- 4 bacon strips
- 10 oz. penne pasta
- Leftover cooked white turkey meat diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 + 1/3 cups half and half
- 1 + 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups spinach, uncooked
- Shred the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
- In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-low add the bacon to the same skillet.
- While the bacon cooks, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Once the bacon is cooked and crisp on each side, use tongs to remove it from the pan. Leave 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan, and add the garlic. Cook for about 60 seconds.
- Increase the heat to medium and gradually add in the flour, whisking constantly.
- Temper the half and half by heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the half and half to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly. Once it starts to lightly bubble, decrease the heat to low.
- Slowly sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring as you do so.
- Once well-combined, add the cooked turkey, tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes have softened slightly, and turkey is warmed. Use a silicone spatula to gently mix in the penne.
- Sprinkle the top with bacon, and serve!