Tired of turkey yet? While I love all the deliciousness Thanksgiving food brings, I do get a little tired of the repetition and start to crave something else to change things up.
This is the best time of year for casseroles and baked pastas since the weather is colder and there’s just something so right about a bubbly casserole right from the oven. I’m always excited for lasagna or manicotti, but I wanted to incorporate some different flavors, something not tomato based. Since we’d eaten salmon the night before, I used a little of the leftovers to create this dish and some Japanese Salmon and Rice balls, which I’ll share very soon. This comes together in a snap and it was quickly and happily consumed by my resident taste testers.
1 cup Cheese Tortellini
1/2 cup frozen Green Peas
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Milk
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
4 T. Parmesan Cheese, grated
3 oz. cooked Salmon, flaked (preferably not canned)
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook Pasta according to package instructions, until pasta is al dente (still has a little bit of chew to it). In the last 30 seconds of cooking, add the peas to the boiling water. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour with a whisk until no lumps remain. Cook until the flour no longer tastes raw, about a minute. Slowly stir in most of milk, a little at a time whisking to combine. Reserve a little to thin the sauce, just in case. Cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Add in lemon zest, parmesan and nutmeg. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the saltiness of the salmon. If the sauce seems too thick, add the reserved milk.
Add the tortellini, peas, and salmon to the saucepan and stir gently to combine. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with extra parmesan cheese and place in oven.
Bake until the parmesan has browned slightly and the sauce is bubbling, about 12-15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve. It pairs well with a green salad and crusty bread for a simple but satisfying dinner, perfect for a cool and cozy night in.