An abundance of holiday dinners usually produces one thing—an abundance of leftovers. And nothing takes care of leftovers quite like a casserole that uses a little of this and a little of that to create a delicious meal. Published in Southern Living in November, 1990, this recipe has all the makings of a keeper. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples that you probably already have, and, if you don’t, you can easily substitute with something else. For example, if you don’t have egg noodles, simply use whatever pasta noodle you have on hand. You can adjust the amount of green and red pepper to suit your taste, and don’t hesitate to add a few drops of Tabasco to bump up the heat. This casserole can be assembled the day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, so it is the ideal recipe to make when you know you will have dinner guests coming. Round out the meal with a tossed salad and warm bread, and all you have to do is set the table while the casserole bakes in the oven. A make-ahead casserole enables you to spend more time enjoying your guests and less time in the kitchen.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well, and set aside.
Sauté onion and green pepper in butter in a Dutch oven until tender; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in noodles, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, poppyseeds, salt, red pepper, and turkey; add pimiento, and stir gently.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 12- x 8- x 2-inch baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours. To bake, remove from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Unbaked casserole may be frozen. To bake, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.