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Turkey Leftovers

5 Ways to Use Your Turkey Leftovers

by Matt Moore on November 25, 2011 · 13 comments

in Food & Drink

Enough is enough – I’m going on a diet.

Those are typically the words that come out of my mouth every Friday morning after the Thanksgiving holiday.  Certainly, my actions the day before pretty much always set me up for such a statement.  After a day of overeating and watching football, I tend to feel a bit slower in my step.

But, as in most years, it never fails that I tend to push that diet off to the week ahead.  After all, there are so many leftovers from Thursday’s feast that I’d be a fool to let it all go to waste.  Ah, the power of procrastination.

Yet, the idea of repeating the exact same meal from the day before often loses its luster on my tired taste buds.  So instead, I seek out ways to re-use all of that goodness before I stare down a week of grilled salmon and salad.

In other words, don’t be bored with your meals, or even worse, let great food go to waste!  Entertain your family and friends one more time around with these great ideas for turkey leftovers!

MM

Smokey Turkey Quesadillas

These tasty bites are perfect for enjoying more football with friends.  Simple, quick, easy and delicious–just the way cooking’s supposed to be.  (Prep 10 minutes, Cook 10 Minutes, Serves 4 – 6)

2 Cups Leftover Turkey, chopped
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
4 Tablespoons Butter, separated
4 Large Flour Tortillas
4 Cups Pepper-Jack Cheese, grated
Sour Cream and Salsa, to serve

Combine the first three ingredients into a bowl and mix until evenly combined; set aside.  Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of butter at a time into a non-stick skillet.  When butter has melted, add one tortilla into the pan.  Arrange ½ cup chopped turkey, and 1 cup of cheese onto one side of the tortilla.  Using tongs or a spatula, carefully fold over the other side of the tortilla to cover the ingredients.  Allow the tortilla to cook and slightly brown on one side, flip and repeat on the other side.  Remove from pan, cut into even wedges, and serve with sour cream and salsa.  Repeat process for remaining ingredients.

Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

A delicious and hearty soup that makes use of all of that wonderful leftover turkey, including the white and dark meat.  (Prep 15 minutes, Cook 1 hour, Serves 4 – 6)

¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, finely diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
4 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
32 oz Turkey (Chicken) Stock
1 16 oz Bag Frozen Okra, cut
1 lb Andouille or Smoked Sausage, sliced
4 Cups Leftover Turkey, chopped
Hot Cooked Rice, to serve

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, slowly cook the flour and oil together, creating a roux about the color of a dull penny; 20 minutes.  Next, add bell pepper and onions and sauté until tender, 4 – 6 minutes.  Add garlic and tomatoes; continue to sauté for another five minutes.  Slowly add the stock and increase the heat to medium high until the mixture begins to simmer.  Add okra, return to a simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes.  Finally, add sausage and turkey and heat through – 10 minutes.  Serve with hot cooked rice.

Turkey Cobb Salad

I like to consider this as somewhat of an “indulgent” salad.  Filled with tasty bits of turkey, crispy bacon, and creamy blue cheese dressing, this is a great way to get started in moving towards the direction of a diet–even if it is a bit heavy.  Keep in mind that many of these ingredients can be prepped ahead of time; making this meal more of an “assembly” rather than an actual dish that requires cooking.  (Prep 10 minutes, Cook N/A, Serves 2)

4 Cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1 Vine Ripe Tomato, diced
½ Red Onion, finely diced
4 Slices Crispy
Cooked Bacon, chopped
2
Hard Boiled Eggs, diced
1 Cup Leftover Turkey, chopped
Blue Cheese Dressing, to serve

Create a bed or even layer of lettuce onto a large plate or serving platter.  Next, top the salad evenly with remaining ingredients.  Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side.

Turkey Rotel

A comforting casserole filled with cheesy carbs, vegetables, and tender turkey.  A great make-ahead dish that can be prepped for dinner later in the day, or simply frozen and used for a meal on a busy weeknight.   (Prep 15 minutes, Cook 45 minutes, Serves 4 – 6)

1 lb Dried Spaghetti
½ Stick Butter
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Onion, diced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 lb Velveeta Cheese, chopped
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 Cup Milk
4 Cups Leftover Turkey, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook spaghetti according to directions on the box, or al dente; 10 – 11 minutes.  Drain pasta and set aside.  Meanwhile, melt butter into a skillet over medium heat.  Add bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno and sauté until tender, 4 – 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, including the cooked pasta, and mix thoroughly until the cheese is just melted and ingredients are well combined.  Add the entire contents of the skillet into a greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Serve.

Pesto + Turkey Submarine Sandwich

An upgrade on the traditional turkey sandwich, the pesto adds a sweet and savory flavor that enhances the delicious turkey.  Pile these ingredients high on a loaf of Italian bread, and slice into individual portions to serve your hungry guests.  In a pinch, most grocers offer pre-prepared and jarred pesto to save time.  (Prep 10 minutes, Cook N/A, Serves 4)

Fresh Pesto

2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
¼ Cup Pine Nuts or Walnuts, toasted
½ Lemon, juiced
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Combine the first five ingredients into a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped.  With the processor running, slowly stream in olive oil until fully incorporated and smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Add cheese, and pulse until combined.  (Keeps in the fridge up to 3 days.)

Turkey Submarine Sandwich

1 Large Loaf Italian Bread
Fresh Pesto
Mayonnaise
1 lb Leftover Turkey, sliced
Iceberg Lettuce, sliced
Vine Ripe Tomatoes, sliced
Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Using a bread knife, carefully slice the loaf of bread in half, creating a top and bottom side.  Smear the bottom side with pesto sauce, and add a layer of mayonnaise to the top side.  Begin layering the sandwich, starting with the turkey, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and splash with vinegar.  Place top side of bread on top of sandwich and slice into individual servings.  Serve.

Thanksgivings Here!

Thanksgiving Feast: How-To Brine & Roast a Turkey

CRAFT: Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Feast: How-To Brine & Roast a Turkey
By Katie Goodman


Now that Halloween is over, I feel like the holiday season is ready to begin. I love all the cooking and baking that happens this time of year, but most of all I love how the family gatherings always end up in the kitchen. I'm going to help you get ready for the first big one — Thanksgiving — by providing you with recipes and tips throughout the whole month of November.

I'm lucky that as a young bride, my mother-in-law gave me some excellent tips when it was time for me to host my first Thanksgiving. I especially appreciated her tips on how to roast a turkey. She introduced me to brining, something I had never before heard of, but I knew that the turkey I had eaten at her home was the best I'd ever had, so I followed her advice. Here is my twist on the brine recipe she first gave me as well some great tips for roasting a flavorful turkey. Anyone who's ever eaten my turkey says it's the best they've ever had. And it's all thanks to my mother-in-law. I'm lucky to have such a sweet one!

The leftover turkey carcass from this recipe makes the best homemade turkey broth, but you'll have to stay tuned throughout the month for that recipe, along with ideas for your side dishes and our family's favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

Herbed Brine

Ingredients

16-pound turkey
3 c kosher salt
1 c brown sugar
1½ tsp pepper
4 bay leaves
4 stems fresh thyme
3 stems fresh sage
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 gallon boiling water
8 pounds ice cubes

Directions

Thanksgiving Brinespices


Step 1: Stir the salt, brown sugar, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, sage, and garlic together in a large stock pot. Add 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and allow the mixture to steep for 25 minutes. Stir in enough ice to bring the brine amount up to 2 gallons (2 gallons = 32 cups).

Note: If your pot is not large enough, you may have to allow the brine to cool and add the additional amount when pouring the brine into the bag in the following step.

Thanksgiving Turkeyinbrine


Step 2: Place the turkey in a large zip-top bag. I recommend the Ziploc Big Bags (size large). Put the bagged turkey in a clean cooler. Pour the brine over the turkey, in the bag, making sure the breasts are fully submerged. Zip the bag closed. Place the cooler in a cool place, such as your garage, and allow the turkey to soak in the cold brine for 12-24 hours.

Use gel packs or bagged ice around the zipped bag inside the cooler, if necessary, to keep the brine below 40°F. (Adding more ice directly to the brine would only dilute it.)

After the brining process, transfer the turkey to a roasting pan and discard the brine.

Note: For a smaller turkey you may make less brine; however, be careful to do so with the original proportions of ingredient still intact. Too much salt will leave you with an incredibly salty turkey. Also, birds less than 10 pounds will likely not need to soak for the full 24 hours to achieve the desired results.

Garlic Herb Butter

Ingredients

8 Tbs butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
½ tsp black pepper

Directions

Thanksgiving  Herbedbutter


Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Thanksgiving Rubwithbutter


Step 2: Rub the butter all over the inside of the turkey cavity. Lift the skin covering the turkey breast meat and rub butter on top of the meat. Place the skin back down. Continue with roasting instructions below.

Roasting the Turkey

Directions
(For a 14-16 lb turkey)

Step 1: Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a V-rack in your roasting pan. Place the turkey, breast side down, on the V-rack. Pour 2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan.

Thanksgiving Turkeyprepped


Step 2: Place a quartered carrot, celery, and onion inside the turkey cavity if you aren't stuffing it. An un-stuffed turkey will cook faster. If you are stuffing the turkey, do not tightly pack it in.

Step 3: Tie the legs together using kitchen twine. Fold the wing tips under the turkey. Drizzle olive oil or melted butter on the outside of the turkey, if desired. Roast for 90 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the turkey from the oven and turn it breast side up.

Tip: It helps to have a big wad of paper towels in each hand so you can easily flip it without slipping or burning yourself. Baste the turkey with pan drippings. Add an additional cup of water to the pan. Roast the turkey for an additional 40-65 minutes or until the meat thermometer inserted in the breast registers 160-165°F and the leg/thigh registers at about 170°F. Check to make sure the pan drippings and water have not completely evaporated, causing the herbs to burn. If the turkey begins to brown too much before it has reached the correct temperatures, cover it with foil.

Step 5: Transfer the turkey to a platter and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Use this time for any last minute preparations. This is the perfect time to put the rolls in the oven, make gravy or a salad, or set the table.

About the Author:

author_katiegoodman.jpg


Katie Goodman resides in New Mexico with her husband and two children (a 4-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl). Learning in the kitchen, eating, trying new recipes, and sharing them with friends and loved ones are some of Katie's favorite things to do. She wholeheartedly believes that part of the goodness in life is enjoying good food with good friends and family, and goodLife {eats} is a place for her to share what she finds good in the kitchen.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Tried and Tested Thanksgiving Recipes

Filed Under:

In our "What People Are Cooking" column, see how our recipes turned out in other cooks' kitchens. Every week we choose a recipe that several food bloggers made and feature it here with photos and links. Share your own experience; submit your blog.

Nothing is more daunting than trying a recipe for the first time when you're having guests over for dinner--except maybe when that dinner is on Thanksgiving. So we've gathered a few of our new November issue's recipes for a special edition of What People Are Cooking. These dishes were not only tested to perfection in our Test Kitchen, they've already proven delicious for home cooks. Take a look at these blogger-approved turkey, sides, and mouthwatering pie below; then add them to your menu with no fear.

THE RECIPE:
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Figs
Bon Appetit, November 2010

pancetta_crisps_lorie_curie_web.jpg
Lori Curie's Favorite Things: "The Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Figs sounded delicious, so I decided to make them. We were not disappointed!  The sweetness of the fig with the salty pancetta was a great flavor combination.  I will definitely make these again!"

See the rest after the jump.




THE RECIPE: Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette
Bon Appetit, November 2010

greenbeans_with_walnuts_the_bitten_word_web.jpg
The Bitten Word: "As Thanksgiving prep goes, it doesn't really get any easier than this. Blanch the green beans, toast the walnuts, mix the vinaigrette and then toss everything together. You can prepare each of the components a day early. ..Toasted walnuts amp up the crunch factor even more. And the cherries? They're great! The vinaigrette is sharp, tangy and slightly sweet...We'd definitely make this again."



THE RECIPE:
Sweet Potato Pudding with Pecan and Gingersnap Topping
Bon Appetit, November 2010

sweet_potato_pudding_the_cooks_next_door_web.jpg
The Cooks Next Door: "This next recipe is a Sweet Potato Pudding - perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration! The gingersnap, pecan topping provides a wonderful balance of crunch and sweet. I would have added just a little more half and half or milk to make this slightly creamier. Overall, we loved this!"

THE RECIPE:
Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro and Chiles
Bon Appetit, November 2010

cranberry_salsa_pirate_kitchen_web.jpg
Pirate Kitchen:"There's boldness in these bowls and the pepitas have a flavor and crunch that hold their own and round everything out. The lime juice and sugar mixture brings it all together...The vibrant colors, tart-robust flavors and crunchy-coarse texture are just spectacular. It's inexpensive and quick and easy - the perfect holiday recipe."



THE RECIPES:
Salt Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano
Rosemary Bread Stuffing with Speck, Fennel, and Lemon
Bon Appetit, November 2010

salt_roasted_turkey_white_fluffy_icing_web.jpg
White Fluffy Icing: "The skin was beautiful and delicious, thanks to the lemon oil... I did achieve golden skin, juicy white meat, and well-cooked dark meat all at the same time... If you're looking to shake things up a bit, I would definitely recommend this recipe, as it has a lot of complex flavors that work pretty well together."



THE RECIPE:
Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie
Bon Appetit, November 2010

cranberry_wild_blueberry_pie_jenelle_sewell_web.jpg
Jenelle Sewell:"The pie came out warm and sweet with a touch of sour face.  After chilling in the fridge overnight, it is an unbelievable dessert.  I highly recommend this recipe. Have a warm slice with some vanilla ice cream and you'll be dreaming like a baby."
Ultimate Pumpkin Pie
Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

Yummy pie!

Yummy pie!

This is simply my most favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It is like a pumpkin custard, made with eggs, sour cream and heavy cream. I found it on epicurious.com and it has been a staple in our home for years now.  It is smooth, creamy and just plain delicious. The addition of apricot preserves just kicks a simple pumpkin pie recipe up a notch!  It’s surely a winner at your Thanksgiving!

Crust
1 1/4 cups
all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons
whipping cream

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
1
tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, beaten to blend

1/4 cup apricot preserves (Note: this is the secret)

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball, flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 15 minutes.

Roll out dough on floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang under. Make cut in crust edge at 1/2 inch intervals. Bend alternate edge pieces inward. Freeze 15 minutes.

Line crust with foil, pressing firmly. Bake until sides are set, about 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake crust until pale brown, about 10 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

For filling:
Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, sour cream and eggs.

Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING

No Room For Vegetables
Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and I can hardly wait. Just look at my plate. Traditionally turkey is served with all of the trimmings. In case you’re wondering, the trimmings consist of:
Oven Roasted Turkey
Stuffing (some call it dressing)
Plenty of Turkey Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberries
Sweet Potatoes
Cauliflower Casserole

Corn Casserole
Stuffed Celery (Kraft brand Roka Blu & Cream Cheese)
Sour Cream Cucumbers
Black Pitted Olives
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Apple Pie
If We're Lucky... Christmas Cookies

This really is the one meal that I look forward to each and every year. Tell me about your Thanksgiving traditions and what you'll be serving this year. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

PS. If you're looking for something different as a side dish, why not try making Kartoffelklösse! Turkey gravy is great on those as well.
Recipe of the Week - Nov 20th

gritsshrimp
Classic Shrimp and Grits—shown here with Antebellum Coarse White Grits—should ring with the flavor of shrimp. A stock made with shrimp shells and aromatics brings real depth to this dish.

Time: 40 minutes active, plus one hour to reduce the stock (not counting grits time)

The renaissance of regional Southern fare some two decades ago conspired to land Shrimp and Grits on every menu from Charleston to Savannah, and on menus in cities where no shrimp ever jumped or spawned. Shrimp and Grits is an ethereal dish, guileless and profoundly comforting. You need nothing more than sweet dayboat shrimp (with their shells to make shrimp stock or butter), real country ham or smoked bacon, minced onion or shallots, a knob of butter, and a pot of hot grits to make a memorable dish. Right. But collecting these ingredients is not always easy (even if you happen to live on a tidal creek). As a result, shrimp and grits recipes wind up reading like punch lists of random, out of place ingredients. Diced tomatoes and heavy cream, for instance, are smooth interlopers, but interlopers nevertheless. Frankly wrong are ingredients like sweet peppers and sausage-save them for the Jambalaya. You can, indeed, make an acceptable dish of shrimp and grits with frozen shrimp-but all the other ingredients need to be pristine.

Equipment Mise en Place
For this recipe you will need a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, a fine, conical strainer, a small (1 quart) saucepan, a large nonstick skillet, a set of tongs, and a whisk.

Ingredients
1 pound medium-sized, shell-on shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, small dice
1 small stalk celery, small dice
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 cups filtered or spring water
3 full sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole, cracked black peppercorns
1 strip lemon peel
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon flour
2 ounces thick smoked bacon or real country ham, minced (3 tablespoons)
2 large shallots, minced (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, white and green part, thinly sliced
1 recipe hot, freshly prepared
Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse or Carolina Quick Grits

Directions
1. Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. Dry the shrimp between layers of paper towels and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells, onion, celery, and garlic and sauté until the shells are crisp and the aromatics tender, 10 minutes. Add the water, thyme, bay, peppercorns, tomato paste and lemon peel. Cover and bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the stock is flavorful and reduced, about 1 hour. Strain the stock into a small saucepan (there should be about 1 1/2 cups) and keep hot.

2. While the stock is cooking, mash the butter and flour into a smooth paste in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Sauté the bacon or ham in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Move it to the periphery of the skillet and increase the heat to medium. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and sear until pink. Sprinkle the shallots over the shrimp, toss and cook until the shrimp is done, about one minute. Season with salt and pepper. Using tongs, transfer the shrimp to a warm plate. Add the hot stock to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the reserved butter and flour mixture. Cook until thickened, about 20 seconds. Return the shrimp to the pan and taste sauce for seasoning.

4. To serve, spoon the hot grits into shallow bowls. Top with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Serves 4 to 6.
Todays Sandwich 365

Wisconsin butter burgers

If you haven’t been to Solly’s in a few years and you see the new location, just down the street from the old one, now titled Solly’s Grille rather than the familiar Solly’s Coffee Shop, you might think the old diner has gone upscale. The moment you walk in, you are reassured that it’s still the same estimable burger joint. The air is filled with the smell of sizzling meat and dripping butter – the two ingredients that make a hamburger at Solly’s so divine. Steating remains merely two horseshoe-shaped counters with stools; and the staff of uniformed waitresses still go about their business with well-seasoned hash-house aplomb.

Here is the great butter burger of Milwaukee, a city where burgers are a passion. It is a fairly thin patty of beef, cooked through, served on a bun literally dripping with butter. Not margarine, not flavored oil: pure, dairy-rich, delicious butter. You can get a Super burger (2 patties, and a good idea; to us, a single one is overwhelmed by its bun) or a Super Special, which adds lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise to the mix (also a good idea), as well as cheeseburgers and burgers topped with mushrooms, onions, and Monterrey Jack cheese. The biggest of all burgers is the Cheesehead, which is a half pound of sirloin with Swiss and American cheese, stewed onions, raw onion, and mushrooms. It is virtually impossible to eat with one’s hands, but it’s fun to try!

Poormans Soup Time

Spaghetti Soup

Souper Spaghetti


Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef  or sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small green sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water
2 14 1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 13 - 15 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dashed crushed red pepper
2 ounces spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces

Directions

1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook meat, onion, sweet pepper, celery, carrot, and garlic over medium heat until vegetables are tender and meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.

2. Add water, undrained tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, sugar, and seasonings. Bring mixture to boiling. Add broken spaghetti. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until spaghetti is tender. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs, if you like. Makes 6 servings.