Fazzoletti translates literally into "face towels," which is what these large squares of fresh pasta resemble. But, I wouldn't wipe my face with them, they're too delicious. Simply cut into four inch squares, they are the easiest pasta shape to make, in my opinion. I thought about dragging out my pasta machine, but decided to use fresh pasta sheets from my local grocery store instead. While not as good as homemade, the fazzoletti was so enjoyable, I made food porn noises as I ate it. You know what I'm talking about. The sauce was a simple turkey stew, made with prunes and pearl onions. The stew requires little real work, but cooks for some time in oven. And that was fine with me. The weather was cold and clammy outside, but my house was filled with the aroma of turkey legs, rosemary, and thyme, braising in the oven. The recipe comes from Food & Wine, and they suggest serving each person their own turkey leg. That's always fun, but two hours of braising doesn't produce attractive turkey legs, so I pulled the meat off the bone instead. The prunes add a slightly sweet flavor to everything, so even if you don't think you would like them, I wouldn't leave them out. You can substitute egg noodles for the fazzoletti. And the stew would be wonderful on polenta.
This is my submission to Presto Pasta Night, which was started by the wonderful Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Each Friday Ruth has a recap of wonderful pasta recipes from bloggers from all over the world. So, do stop by and check it out.
Turkey Stew with Prunes and Pearl Onions
(Food & Wine)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 turkey drumsticks (about 14 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
3 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pitted prunes (6 ounces)
1/2 cup brandy (You can omit the brandy, if you wish--but it does add a nice flavor)
1 cup white pearl onions (1/4 pound)
About 8-12 ounces of fresh pasta sheets cut into approximately 4 inch square.
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add 2 of the turkey drumsticks to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to moderate and repeat with the remaining 2 drumsticks and salt and pepper. Discard the fat.
Add the wine to the casserole and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, until it has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Tie the thyme and rosemary into a bundle and add to the casserole along with the drumsticks and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, turning the drumsticks occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the prunes in the brandy until plump, about 30 minutes. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain and let cool slightly. Trim the root ends of the onions and slip off the skins. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the pearl onions and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the onions, prunes and any remaining brandy to the casserole. Cover and braise for 1 hour longer, or until the turkey drumsticks are tender.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the turkey, prunes and pearl onions to a platter. Discard the herb bundle. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid, then simmer the liquid over moderate heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. When the turkey meat has cooled a bit, discard the turkey skin, remove meat from the bones and tear it into pieces. (You can skip this step and serve each person a whole leg, if you wish.) Return the turkey, prunes and onions to the casserole, simmer until hot and serve.
To cook the fazzoletti: Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil. Drop in the fazzoletti and cook until al dente, which should take about 1-2 minutes. Remove each square with tongs, and place each one in a bowl, with the stew. If you drain them all at once in a colander, they might stick together. I like to put a little sauce into each serving dish, and add the fazzoletti, plucked right out of the water with tongs, into each person's dish, spooning the sauce on them.
MAKE AHEAD The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
SERVE WITH Boiled noodles, steamed rice or boiled potatoes.