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Turkey Leftover Time: Italian Turkey Casserole

I love Thanksgiving Dinner. A turkey, and the fixings does so much for the family! The aroma spreads throughout the house, the boiling pots heat up the kitchen. The windows steam. Warmth permeates the day... in so many ways. Then the dishes are cleaned, the turkey resurfaces for sandwiches on homemade bread and company leaves. However, the amount of turkey seems to grow in the refrigerator!
Bring on the leftovers! For many, this is the favorite meal. There is little fuss involved, no silver to hand wash: just good food to savor.
After the first night of leftovers, I liked to get creative. Italian Turkey Casserole has been a favorite for years. Serve with a side of pasta with olive oil and herbs.

Italian Turkey Casserole
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1/4 c diced onion
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
salt
1 t basil
1 t sugar
1 t crushed garlic
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c bread crumbs
1 3 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained - or if you have frozen beet greens, thaw, and chop these.
1 c ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/8 t nutmeg
4 oz sliced mozzarella cheese

About 1/4 hours before serving:
In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Add turkey, stir. Add tomato sauce, paste, 1 t salt and next 4 ingredients. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened. Stir in bread crumbs. Reserve 6 mushroom slices for garnish; add rest of mushrooms to meat mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile pat spinach or beet greens with paper towels. In medium sized bowl, with fork, combine spinach (or beet greens), ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 t salt and nutmeg. Cut mozzarella cheese crosswise into 1/4" wide strips; cut 2 slices into 1/2" wide strips; dice remaining cheese.
In 9x9" baking pan, spread half of the turkey mixture; top with ricotta mixture and sprinkle with diced mozzarella; spread on remaining turkey mixture. Arrange cheese strips in rows on top and garnish with reserved mushroom slices. Bake 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

Please pass on to us some of your turkey leftover recipes. We all need some variety!

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