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


cookinmom said...

King of fork twirlling...your pretty good at it!

blogagog said...

Bah. I love most things about Chef John, but I'm not a fan of his incessant use of licorice. That stuff is disgusting. Tarragon, anise, star anise, chervil... blech.

John, there's a reason that people don't like black jelly beans. It's because they taste nasty. I'm not knocking you. You're by quite a long shot my favorite chef on the planet. But when you promote putting a disgusting licorice flavor on things, I have to wonder if my praise of you is misguided.

Chef John said...

Hopefully you're kidding, otherwise that's one of the dumbest comments of the year so far. I know lots of people that don't like mustard, or onions, or pepper, maybe I shouldn't use those in videos either.

ECalla said...

It's very strange why some people hate one taste but love others. For me, I LOVE and I ADORE the black jelly bean and black licorice, anise, star anise, tarragon, chervil.....etc, etc. this dish looks so yummy--I must try it. It looks very palatable and pleasing. Thanks Chef John!

blogagog said...

No, I wasn't kidding. I guess it qualifies for dumbest comment of the year :(. But it's unfair to equate the flavor of anise with the flavors of mustard (which I also despise btw, just sayin'), onion, and pepper/peppers.

Those other flavors are ubiquitous in American food. Licorice is not. It's not just me. It's a widely disliked flavor. Almost as many people dislike anise as dislike the "horrid flavor of cilantro" (Lady Julia Child said that, not me).

Meh. Cook whatever you want. I'll still wait for your videos with great anticipation.I assume you are a good cook, but where you excell is at making entertaining and informational videos. I'll watch them all, even when you make a salad.

But I hate licorice.

cookinmom said...

I'm a big fan of terragon (my NEW herb)as I have lots in my garden now! I absolutely LOVE it in my soups and stews...! To me it is not like a licorice at all. There are some people whos tastes are in their mouths! It's like anchovies in sauce...some people have no palate or adventure and miss out on alot. :0)

Chef John said...

Actually what's unfair is thinking everyone who like tarragon is wrong. If you don't like it, great, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. You realize you are in a small minority, right? It's been my experience that people enjoy this flavor, used correctly. BTW, 10% of people have a receptor on the tongue that makes cilantro taste like soap, so that's a much different thing.

blogagog said...

Chef, c'mon. You know I don't think everyone who likes tarragon is wrong, right? Don't paint me like that. I'm just against licorice flavor. Very against. That's quite different from thinking people who like it are wrong.

In fairness, I have to add that I kind of like tarragon on cedar planked salmon. The evil licorice flavor actually works well there. But in most cases, it doesn't. Instead, it makes what ever you eat taste like licorice.

I'm sure I'm trying your patience at this point, so I'll shut up now.

PS - oh, and I have that crappy gene that makes cilantro taste horrible :(. More like the smell of a stink bug than soap though.

Steve Kennedy said...

My wife is sensitive to the licorice flavor and is easily overwhelmed by it. Yet I feed it to her often, I just cut the tarragon called for in the recipe in half, and she enjoys it. Then I use some for garnish on my portion. It works for us.
Like any seasoning, what I like may be too much or too little for someone else. Take Cayenne for example, my granddaughter is sensitive, but she likes it if I cut back more than she likes it if I leave it out.

Cindy Soo said...

I love anything licorice!!! Sambuca and Ouzo are at the top of that list and oh by the way, when I eat jelly beans I try to steal all the black ones...they are the best!!

freday said...

Looks good! Can't wait to try it!

rotunder said...

Delicious!! We made this last night and loved it. I didn't really notice a "licorice" flavour from the taragon... maybe we didn't use as much as is in the video, it just seems to mix together with all the other flavours for an awesome dish.

Chef John said...

Yes, there is no real licorice flavor, just a subtle hint. Don't let "those people" throw you off. ;) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am a lover of all things liquorice. Real liquorice, not stupid red "liquorice", but having moved to Canada, I have yet to find any outside of the German and English store, so I import it a lot. Aniseed balls and liquorice sticks from the UK, some Haribo variations from Germany and Katjes. Until I moved to Canada, I assumed everyone liked liquorice, because I had never met anyone that didn't! I have friends, that before me, hadn't even ever tasted real liquorice, just the fake crap they peddle over here.

As for tarragon, I really do not get anything liquorice like from it. It's more like chewing on a liquorice root than it is eating refined liquorice, super subtle and barely there unless you let it simmer on your tongue for a while.

P.S.: a bit of liquorice is good for you ;)

Mr. Pagan said...

Yummy! Thank you so much for this wonderful resource. I have learned so much and cook so much more often after finding your blog. I hope all is well with your family.

Unknown said...

Can I use whole milk instead of heavy cream???

Chef John said...

No, won't work the same.

Unknown said...

Hi chef Jonh, it's looks very nice. But I can't find smoke turkey or chicken... You said in the video that we could use mushroom with paprika... Can we do the same with chicken or turkey... How much paprika you will use ? You would marinated the chicken with or just add it in the sauce ? Thank you :)