In Northern Italy, France, and many other parts of Europe, turkey is typically part of an abundant Christmas Dinner, but since Americans celebrate their "Turkey Day," in November, this Italian holiday recipe can easily be used as an alternative to roasting a whole turkey while adding an Italian touch to your Thanksgiving table.
It's a rolled-up turkey breast filled with mushrooms, slices of ham, and Parmigiano, the perfect solution for a smaller gathering, for those who are hampered by a very small kitchen and/or oven, and for those who might happen to live in a place where whole turkeys are hard to come by in November.
It's also relatively quick and easy to make—which could be quite a blessing when you (and your kitchen) are already overloaded with holiday preparations.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots (peeled)
- 2 stalks celery
- 250 g mushrooms (cleaned and thinly sliced)
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1 (6 to 8-pound turkey turkey breast (pounded thin)
- 250 g ham (sliced)
- 100 g Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 splash dry white wine
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
Gather the ingredients.
Dice 1 carrot and 1 stalk of celery. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the carrot and celery with the mushrooms and parsley until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Spread the pounded turkey breast on a flat surface, cover it evenly with the slices of ham, sauteed mushrooms, and grated Parmigiano. Roll the turkey up tightly around the filling and secure with kitchen twine.
Dice the remaining carrot and celery stalk as well as the onion.
Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil evenly over the bottom of a large, deep sauté pan and scatter the vegetables evenly over the oil.
Place the turkey on top of the diced vegetables and place the pan over medium-high heat.
Brown the turkey roll evenly for about 5 minutes, turning with a wooden spoon to brown all sides.
Add a splash of white wine to the pan and deglaze for about 1 minute, until the smell of alcohol dissipates, scraping the bottom of the pan a bit with a wooden spoon to loosen and dissolve any browned juices.
Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, checking often and adding a bit of water or broth, if necessary.
Remove the lid, raise the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- The most classic filling is spinach and thin slices of frittata, but other possible combinations include: prunes and ham, speck (smoked prosciutto) and radicchio, ham and cheese, or vegetables and cheese.
- For a more Thanksgiving-themed turkey roll, try replacing the filling with traditional stuffing and whole cranberries, or dried cherries.
- For something even simpler, you can omit the stuffing and simply spread pesto (or any other thick, flavorful sauce) over the breast before rolling.