(by Katy Keck)
4 oz. butter, divided
3 T. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 green bell pepper, stem removed, seeded and diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional: reserve the fat)
4 shallots, minced
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. spaghetti
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
4 c. chopped cooked turkey
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs or seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter a 9x13x2-inch 3-quart casserole.
Melt 3 T. butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux the texture of wet sand.
Let it start to bubble and continue for one minute.
Whisk in the milk and chicken broth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the celery and peppers, and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened, whisking occasionally.
Meanwhile, add 1 T. butter (or reserved bacon fat) to a sauté pan and add the shallots.
Sauté until golden and a bit crispy, about 8 minutes.
Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Add 2 T. butter to the pan and sauté the mushrooms until browned.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, under-cooking by a minute or so, and drain.
In a small bowl, combine shallots, parsley, and Parmesan.
In a large bowl, combine spaghetti with mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and turkey.
Gradually add the sauce, tossing to combine.
Add half the parsley mixture and toss to combine well.
Transfer to casserole.
Top with remaining parsley mixture.
Sprinkle with bacon and bread crumbs.
Dot with 1 T. butter.
Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly.
Serves at least 6 - 8, or more if you are willing to share.
(The mixture can be frozen, unbaked, mixing in all of the parsley mixture, but without toppings. When ready to bake, thaw and top with bacon, bread crumbs, and a bit of fresh Parmesan or grated cheddar.)
(Read Tastes Like Home, the story that accompanies this recipe.)