The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

The Last Supper … For Turkey Leftovers

We’re now entering Day 4 of turkey leftovers. Or as I like to call it …  


After today, I’ll be breaking down what’s left of that big bird to make a giant pot of homemade stock to freeze in smaller containers that can be pulled out to flavor soups, stews, rice and more over the coming weeks. 

But if you have any meat left, you can still get one more meal out of the thing. Today’s recipe calls for angel hair “nests” (available in some specialty food stores) but you can also just serve this over any ol’ pasta for similar results. 


Angel Hair Nests with Turkey and Leek


1–2 packages of angel hair nests

5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1-1.5 cups cooked, skinless turkey breast

5 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and thinly sliced

1 cup water

3/4 cup finely chopped green onions, divided

1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut cooked, skinless turkey into bite-size pieces or shreds; set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Reduce heat to medium, and add leeks. Cook 7 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring frequently. Add water, 1/2 cup green onions and wine; cook, covered, 10 minutes or until leeks are soft.
  3. Transfer mixture to a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in 3 batches, gently lower pasta into boiling water. Cook 6 minutes or until al dente. Carefully remove pasta with a large slotted spoon, gently shaking to remove excess liquid. Repeat procedure with remaining pasta.
  5. Arrange cooked pasta nests on a large rimmed platter. Spoon sauce evenly over each nest. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, and top with turkey. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup green onions.


    Recipe courtesy

More Turkey Leftovers? More Recipe Ideas!

We’re still in full “Thanksgiving Leftover Mode” at our house, with the boys requesting hot open-faced turkey sandwiches for both lunch AND dinner yesterday.

Happy to oblige with that deliciousness – no arguments here.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more creative, here’s a recipe that brings turkey, pumpkin and cranberries together in an unusual pasta dish.

The combination sounds a bit odd, I know. But pumpkin pairs well with savory flavors so the garlic, scallions and fennel called for here shouldn’t scare you. Throwing cranberries into the mix admittedly throws me a bit but, hey, live a little!


Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce, Turkey & Cranberries


1 lb. bowtie or any medium pasta shape, uncooked

1 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1 12-oz. can evaporated skim milk

1/2 cup low-fat milk

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 15-oz. can solid pack pumpkin

3 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

6 fresh fennel sprigs (optional)


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add scallions, garlic and fennel seeds; sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Combine milk, flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir into saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; boil until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in pumpkin, turkey and cranberries until well blended. Reduce heat to medium; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta. Place in large bowl. Add pumpkin sauce and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. (Garnished with sprigs of fresh fennel, if desired.)
    Recipe courtesy

Give Turkey Leftovers a Little Mediterranean Flair

We enjoyed a super-traditional Thanksgiving menu at our house yesterday featuring a bounty of family-favorite recipes. A simple herb-roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sautéed Brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole and rolls. 

And I’m sure we’ll scarf down our fair share of traditional leftovers today. 

But come tomorrow, I’m thinking we’ll be ready to throw a few new flavors into the turkey-leftover equation. 

Check out this recipe for a lively turkey casserole that uses artichokes, roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives to give your Thanksgiving bird some Mediterranean flair! 


Mediterranean Turkey Casserole
1 lb. penne pasta or any medium pasta shape, uncooked

1 14 1/2-oz. can low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup skim milk

1 tsp. salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 7 1/2-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

9 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare noodles according to package directions; drain. Stir the broth, milk, salt and cornstarch together in a large pot or Dutch oven until the cornstarch is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in noodles, turkey, artichoke hearts, red peppers, olives, mozzarella cheese, wine, lemon juice and pepper.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon noodle mixture into dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
    Recipe courtesy

Pumpkin Sage Pasta a Satisfying Winter Dish

Although it’s generally enjoyed as part of a bountiful fall harvest, pumpkin should definitely stay in your cooking repertoire throughout the winter months, too.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta
Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Its earthy flavor adds a special “oomph” to savory soups and stews, risottos and casseroles. And we all know the starring role it plays on the sweet side – in pies, muffins, pancakes.

After a usually mild December gives way to January and February’s bone-chilling cold, I find myself craving warm, hearty pasta dishes more than usual. And there’s a place for pumpkin in those, too.

Try this awesome Pumpkin Sage Pasta, which adds fresh sage, Gruyère cheese, white wine and shallots for a richly satisfying dish.

The recipe is included below, and you can see it being prepared by clicking on this demo.


6 cups cooked short-cut pasta, such as trottole, spirals, penne or bow ties, kept warm
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon instant chicken flavor bouillon
1 can (12.5 fluid ounces) evaporated lowfat 2% milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons grated Gruyère cheese
Ground black pepper to taste

  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sage leaves and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in wine and cook for 2 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in water and bouillon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to infuse flavors. With tongs, remove and discard sage leaves.
  3. Stir evaporated milk and pumpkin into skillet and heat through. Stir in Parmesan cheese and Gruyère cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta to skillet, then stir to coat and heat through.
  4. Season with pepper and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh sage leaves, if desired, before serving.

Pasta Poll: More Would Give Up Chocolate First

Are you more likely to pick pasta or choose chocolate? To worship angel hair or covet cocoa? Faint over fettuccini or melt over go gaga over Ghirardelli?

Well, according to a recent survey by the National Pasta Association, more Americans pick pasta over chocolate as the one food they couldn’t live without. Nearly 60 percent of Americans ages 18-54 said they would give up chocolate before they’d skip the spaghetti, macaroni or fusilli.

According to the survey, an average American eats pasta seven times per month and has five packages of dry pasta in their cupboard or pantry. Tallied up, Americans eat about 20 pounds of pasta per person in the U.S. each year. 

Which pasta is found on more plates?  Thirty-two percent of those surveyed say spaghetti is their personal favorite, followed by angel hair with 16% of the votes and penne with 11%. The lowly bowtie came in last at only 4%.

As for the debate, I add only this: Thank goodness we don’t have to choose only one.