25 October 2014

TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA

TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Tender turkey and meltingly soft courgettes in a creamy, tangy, paprika-flavoured sauce, served on a bed of steaming hot Fusilli pasta, also known as: Comfort Food! Well, I guess it depends on your idea of comfort food. Leaving the obvious chocolate aside, for some maybe that will be sweet, rich, creamy, sugar-loaded puddings, cakes and snacks. For others a meaty, salty, umami-flavoured, rich, carbo-hydrated savoury treat; the soul-warming stew on a cold winters night (or the slice of salami all year long on any time of day!). For some it's the comfort of being cooked for, for others the pieces they secretly steal from the cooking pots, making sure not to be caught and told off. For some it's getting a take-away dinner, for others it's being taken away for dinner. For some it's something that brings back memories, of home, of old times, a bit of nostalgia. For others it's a plate of food in solitude, on their lap, in front of the telly - peace at last. It's the dot on the i for the happy, and the medicine for the unhappy. For some it's 3 spoons a spoon of Nutella with a cup of espresso between meetings, for others it's the slice of ham or cheese eaten straight from the fridge, or a quick spoonful of yesterday's cold left-over... 

TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
In any case, it will be fattening, you will never be able to stop when you are supposed to, you will have a bad conscience on the night, and a kilo more the next day - yep, the true essence of comfort food. Of course none of that applies to me! :-) Anyway... as the cold keeps creeping in and the jumpers and warm socks are creeping out, at least we have an excuse to indulge in something more substantial. And this dish is as soul-warming as it gets. And it ticks plenty of boxes: it's hearty, spicy, rich and creamy, with plenty of umami, and let's not forget, accompanied by pasta. I have been making this dish for 101 years and it's the first I will go to when the cold and rainy season starts. I make it in large quantities, as it warms up so nicely the next day - it does get better and better! Tick! The recipe for this G'schnetzelte ('geschnetzelt' is the German word for cutting meat into strips) is actually from my nephew. Still a teenager back then, I made it under his instruction. I am still amazed how he already knew how to cook, or was even interested in cooking back then. And I will never forget his comment, "don't put too much stock-cube, or otherwise it will just taste of stock cube". How did he know?
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
In Austria it's not unusual to serve dishes with naked pasta on the side, in comparison to our Italian neighbours who cannot imagine pasta in any different way then served as a course on its own, and thoroughly and lovingly 'amalgamata' (Italian for mixed) with sauce. And especially incomprehensible for 'my Italians', as once on our plates, anyway they see us mixing everything together in the end; but hey, this is how we like it :-) And anyway, we don't complain about your urge to drown all things sweet in a cup of espresso (see AFFOGATO, ABBRACCI, just to name a few). I guess for us it's not so strange, as we have a lot of dishes on the basis of meat, vegetables, or mushrooms, served in, or as a sauce, with dumplings, noodles, pasta or Spätzle (small gnocchi) on the side. On the plate we chose to either mix them together, or enjoy a fork of this, and a fork of that. For a special treat my mum often serves a side of buttered noodles (tossed in a little hot melted butter), pasta heaven and a real treat, and sinful not to be enjoyed separately :-) 
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
The turkey is a perfect option for this dish. It stays tender, is rather neutral in flavour and  infuses perfectly with the flavours and spices of the dish. The paprika powder lends a beautiful earthy, autumny, umami flavour. The sour cream adds a zing to bring the dish alive, cutting perfectly through the richness of the creamy sauce. You could use different pasta as a side, but Fusilli are excellent as all the ridges will get filled with spicy, creamy sauce... better stop before I start drooling on my key board... ;-)

Recipe Source: my nephew Nikolaus
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Serves 6-8
(I tend to make this in big portions as we like it also on the next day, or freeze half for later)
app. 600g turkey escallops
4-5 rather large courgette (app. 1.6 kg)  
1 medium onion
5 tsp sweet paprika
app. 1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste
4 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 l vegetable or chicken stock (or made with stock cubes following packet instructions)
app. 6 Tbsp sour cream
app. 1 Tbsp flour
500g Fusilli
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Peel the onion, then cut them it small dice. Wash the courgettes, cut them in half lengthwise, then into app. 5mm thick slices.  Cut the escallops from the small side into strips of equal thickness and length.
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTATURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion dice and fry gently until they are starting to soften and brown. Turn the heat to high, then add the turkey and fry until sealed and starting to brown a little. Season with salt.
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTATURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Add the sliced courgette, stir well and fry together for a few minutes. Meanwhile heat up the stock, or prepare with stock cubes, following packet instructions. Add the paprika powder to the meat, stir, then immediately add the hot stock to avoid that the paprika turns bitter. 
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTATURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Season with salt until the liquid is quite tasty. Leave to cook on medium to high heat to soften the courgette. Meanwhile, put the sour cream into a small bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of flour and stir very well to get rid of any lumps. Add a little of the hot liquid to the mixture and stir well to make the flour-mix more liquid. When the courgettes are soft, bring the sauce to a boil, then pour the flour mixture into the middle of the sauce, stirring well while pouring so that the flour-mix dissolves quickly into the sauce with no lumps forming. 
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA
Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce starts to thicken, making sure to cook it long enough so that the flour flavour cooks out. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.  Serve on a bed of freshly cooked Fusilli. Or if you are Italian, mix the pasta with the sauce before serving   ;-)
TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA

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TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA 



TURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTATURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTATURKEY AND COURGETTE GESCHNETZELTES WITH FUSILLI PASTA

Serves 6-8
app. 600g turkey escallops
4-5 rather large courgette (app. 1.6 kg)  
1 medium onion
5 tsp sweet paprika
app. 1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste
4 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 l vegetable or chicken stock (or made with stock cubes following packet instructions)
app. 6 Tbsp sour cream
app. 1 Tbsp flour
500g Fusilli

Peel the onion, then cut them it small dice. Wash the courgettes, cut them in half lengthwise, then into app. 5mm thick slices.  Cut the escallops into strips of equal thickness and length. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion dice and fry gently until they are starting to soften and brown. Turn the heat to high, then add the turkey and fry until sealed and starting to brown a little. Season with salt. Add the sliced courgette, stir well and fry together for a few minutes. Meanwhile heat up the stock, or prepare with stock cubes, following packet instructions. Add the paprika powder to the meat, stir, then immediately add the hot stock to avoid that the paprika turns bitter. Season with salt until the liquid is quite tasty. Leave to cook on medium to high heat to soften the courgette. Meanwhile, put the sour cream into a small bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of flour and stir very well to get rid of any lumps. Add a little of the hot liquid to the mixture and stir well to make the flour-mix more liquid. When the courgettes are soft, bring the sauce to a boil, then pour the flour mixture into the middle of the sauce, stirring well while pouring so that the flour-mix dissolves quickly into the sauce with no lumps forming. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce starts to thicken, making sure to cook it long enough so that the flour flavour cooks out. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.  Serve on a bed of freshly cooked Fusilli.
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