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Italian Turkey Recipes

When I first moved to Italy in 1982 whole turkeys were rare, and even now they're uncommon except under the holidays. Turkey breast, however, is quite popular and extremely versatile.

Turkey Roll With Fruit, Rotolo di Tacchino Alla Frutta
Whole turkey breast is quite versatile. Here we have a turkey roll stuffed with fruit, and served with mostarda. Perfect for a festive occasion!

Turkey Roll With Chicken Livers, Fesa di Tacchino ai Fegatini
Whole turkey breast is quite versatile. Here we have turkey breast with a rich chicken liver filling that closely resembles the topping for crostini. Perfect for a festive occasion, and even liver haters will enjoy it (I speak from personal experience).

Citrus Roast Turkey Breast, Fesa di Tacchino Agli Agrumi
Whole turkey breast is quite versatile. Here we have a citrus lover's delight, roast turkey breast liberally seasoned with tangerines and lemons.

Turkey Roll with Sausages, Fesa Di Tacchino Con Le Salsicce
Whole turkey breast is quite versatile. This is a rich fall turkey roll recipe, with a sausage and mushroom filling that gains richness from hazelnuts. Perfect for company!

Stuffed Turkey Breast With Fall Fruit Recipe - Petto Di Tacchino alla Frutta
A fine fall recipe: Turkey breast roasted with fruit, including wild apples and currants. Perfect for a holiday meal!

Turkey Breast with Balsamic Vinegar and Bell Pepper Sauce
Turkey breast is a perfect foil for all manner of sauces. Here it pairs beautifully with bell peppers and balsamic vinegar, gaining elegance from some pistachio nuts.

Turkey and Pancetta Spiedini - Spiedini di Tacchino Con Pancetta
Turkey breast is quite lean, and therefore requires a source of fat if it is to survive being grilled without becoming dry and stringy. Pancetta does an admirable job of basting the turkey in these kebabs.

Turkey Drumsticks Stuffed With Porcini - Fusi Ripieni ai Porcini
Turkey is one of the most common meats served during the winter holidays, in part because a bird will feed a multitude. However, if there are just a few of you, a whole turkey means lots of leftovers. Too many, and here's a simple, elegant way to feed four with a couple of turkey drumsticks. If you cannot get fresh porcini, use other flavorful wild mushrooms, or champignons sautéd with a packet of dried porcini (see below instructions).

Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing - Tacchinella Ripiena alle Castagne
Though this is a modern roast turkey recipe - it calls for white bread, which didn't exist in Italy until recently - it draws heavily on tradition, including both chestnuts and dried fruit in the stuffing. The chestnuts are boiled, and you can soak and then briefly boil dried chestnuts if fresh chestnuts are not available where you live.

Turkey Stuffed with Fruit - Tachinella Ripeina con La Frutta
Most Italian stuffed bird recipes call for a boned bird. This one doesn't, and the filling, mostly apples and prunes, goes beautifully with the pancetta that adds savor to the breast meat. A very enjoyable stuffed turkey, which will be perfect in a holiday meal.

To Roast a Turkey Mrs. Randolph's Way
This is a classic American recipe for roast turkey that will be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, though it does require an experienced cook.

To Roast a Turkey Mrs. Marion Harland's Way
This is an 19th century American recipe for turkey with a bread and oyster dressing, and though it does require experience it will be a perfect centerpiece to a classic American Thanksgiving Dinner.

Mrs. Isabella Beeton's Roast Turkey
Mrs. Isabella Beeton's Roast Turkey is the classic English recipe for roast Christmas Turkey, stuffed with a tasty dressing.

Turkey Loaf -- Pasticcio di Tacchino
Italian Turkey Loaf: A quick, easy turkey loaf that gains grace and flavor from bell pepers. Perfect for a family meal.

Turkey Roll -- Rotolo di Tacchino
Turkey roll is quick to make, elegant, and quite nice in the summer.

Turkey Breast Fillets with Peppers and Black Olives Recipe
Turkey Breast Filets with Peppers and Black Olives, or Fettine di Tacchino con Peperoni e Olive Nere: Though Bologna is known for rich dishes, there are also quick easy things to enjoy. This, for example, which will serve 6.

Dalmatian-Style Roast Turkey -- Dindio
Dalmatian-Style Roast Turkey, or Dindio: "Turkey was never absent from our winter holiday meals," says Gioia Colussi in Sapori de Dalmazia, and goes on to say that they usually prepared the hen rather than the male (until recently Italian male turkeys had much less breast meat than the females), and that the bird should weigh about 2 kilos, which is about 5 pounds. In other words, one could do this quite well with a good chicken...

Stuffed Turkey, Trevigiana Style -- Tacchinella Farcita alla Trevigiana
Stuffed Turkey, Trevigiana Style, or Tacchinella Farcita alla Trevigiana: This is a recipe from the Marca Trevigiana, the highlands inland of Treviso, in the Veneto. The combination of chestnuts and fruit works quite well, and it will be perfect on a festive occasion.

Stuffed Turkey Hen -- Tacchinella Ripiena
Stuffed Turkey Hen, or Tacchinella Ripiena: This is the traditional centerpiece of the Christmas dinner in Lombardia, but will also work nicely for Thanksgiving. As is the case with Ada Boni's recipe, this one calls for a small bird. If yours is larger, adjust the proportions accordingly.

Stuffed Turkey -- Tacchino Arrosto Ripieno
Stuffed Turkey, or Tacchino Arrosto Ripieno: This recipe is drawn from Ada Boni's Talismano della Felicità, and is quite similar to the recipe Artusi gave in La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, though he calls for mushrooms, whereas she increases the number of sausages in hers, and also adds some pitted olives. Both include black truffles as an optional.

Turkey Rollups with Pecorino Toscano and Spinach
Turkey Rollups with Pecorino Toscano and Spinach, or Rollatine di Tacchino con Pecorino Toscano e Spinaci: This is a variation on the classic turkey roll, and is presented by the Consorzio that oversees the production of Pecorino Toscano DOP. In terms of a wine you'll want something important, along the lines of a Nobile di Montepulciano or a Chianti Classico Riserva.

Turkey Breast with Onions, Farmer Style -- Tacchino con Cipolle alla Contadina
Turkey Breast with Onions, Farmer Style, or Tacchino con Cipolle alla Contadina: Betty was poking about in the refrigerator one night and found most of the ingredients for this farmer-style turkey breast with onions, which came out quite well.

Turkey with Pomagranites -- Tacchinella alla Melagrana
Tacchinella alla Melagrana, Turkey with Pomagranites: Roast turkey that's then chopped, and heated through with a pomagranite sauce. A tasty way to prepare a bird that will take a half hour to prepare and 2 hours to cook.

Turkey with Pomagranites -- Tacchino alla Melagrana
Turkey with Pomagranites, or Tacchino alla Melagrana: This is easy to do and quick to prepare, but requires 3 1/2 hours' roasting time. As a side dish you might want cardoons, and in particular cardi gratinati -- make cardoni con la besciamella and run them under a broiler briefly.

Turkey Loaf -- Polpettone di Tacchino
Polpettone di Tacchino, or Turkey Loaf: This is an Italian Jewish recipe; Giuliana Ascoli Vitali-Norsa suggests that it will work well for Yom Kippur. It's also the sort of dish you can make ahead if you know you are going to be busy for several days.

Turkey Basil -- Tacchino al Basilico
Turkey and basil work surprisingly well together; the combination is quite refreshing, and if need be you can use chicken too. The recipe is based on one from Leo Codacci's La Cucina delle Buone Erbe.

Turkey Loaf: Polpettone di Tacchino
Turkey Loaf doesn't quite convey the concept here. An extremely elegant dish well suited to festive meals, especially Passover.

Turkey Piccata Recipe - Piccata di Tacchino
Piccata is a Milanese specialty. The term derives from picchiare, to hit or pound, and refers to the pounding of thin slices of meat to further flatten them out. The meat traditionally used in preparing piccata is veal scallops, while the liquid traditionally added at the end of the cooking just before serving the meat, is Marsala. There are many variations, however, and here we have turkey, with string beans instead of the more usual parsley.

Alla Ghiotta Turkey Recipe - Tacchino alla Ghiotta
This is a traditional turkey recipe, from Urbino, in the Marches, and combines braising and roasting in a way that is uncommon, but is very good. Incidentally, the word ghiotta means a roasting pan, and derives from ghiotto, which -- when used as an adjective -- indicates a person especially likes something, e.g. Paolo é ghiotto di arance, Paul loves oranges. And this gives an idea of just how good this turkey is. It does take time, but doesn't have to be watched closely, so it's perfect if you are doing other things around the house, or work from home.

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