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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
Spaghetti Casserole with Turkey, Cheese and Doña Sauce
Longtime Tacodeli employee Bertha Gonzales, who created the restaurant’s famous doña sauce, says she loves to eat the salsa on just about anything, but one of her favorites is mixed in a spaghetti casserole that is then topped with Monterey Jack and Mexican crema.
I re-created my own version of this dish using turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Three tablespoons of the doña sauce added the perfect balance of heat and flavor for my taste buds, but those of you who think nothing of spreading an entire one-ounce to-go container of the salsa on a single taco might double or triple that amount for an extra kick. Feel free to swap the turkey out for chicken, ham, shrimp, lightly cooked vegetables or other kinds of cheeses.
1 lb. dried spaghetti, broken in half or quarters
3/4 cup Mexican crema or whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. doña (or other pureed pepper) sauce
4 cups cooked turkey, ham or chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti about one minute less than the recommended instructions on the package.
While the spaghetti is cooking, combine crema, milk, salt and doña sauce in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
Drain spaghetti and place back in pot. Immediately add chopped turkey and crema mixture. Stir to combine and place in a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Let cool five minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
— Addie Broyles