Monday, May 20, 2013

Smoked Turkey & Spring Pea Fettuccine – A Pasta From My Salad Days

This rich and creamy, smoked turkey and spring pea fettuccine recipe is inspired by a pasta I learned long ago, working at my first real chef job in San Francisco. 

You may have heard me mention Ryan’s Café in the past, especially if you’ve tried our famous chicken Marsala, and it was at this same restaurant where I learned what I still consider one of the best pasta recipes ever.

As I mention in the video, the original was done with smoked chicken, but for whatever reason smoked turkey is much easier to find at the market. I blame the sandwich industry, but no worries, as the turkey is just as good. There’s just something very special about the way the creamy, slightly sweet, aromatic sauce pairs with the smoky meat. Which reminds me, this is also wonderful with leftover ham.

Regarding what many would consider the dangerously large quantities of cream, I’d like to take a moment to do some math. The recipe makes four appetizer size portions. There’s about 1 3/4 cups of cream used, which is roughly 350 calories worth of butter-fatty goodness per serving. To put that into perspective, those two small ladles of dressing you used during your last trip to the salad bar had about the same amount. So, long story short, relax.

Anyway, now that I’ve armed you with a comeback for when your (probably too thin) friend questions your copious cream usage, I hope you give this very simple, but extraordinarily delicious pasta recipe a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 small or 2 large portions:
8 oz dry fettuccine noodles, boiled in salted water
For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 3/4 cup heavy cream (about 34-36% fat)
6 oz smoked turkey, sliced
1/2 cup green peas, frozen or fresh shelled
2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
1 tsp lemon zest
Parmigiano-Reggiano to garnish

View the complete recipe