Wamsutta – The Ultimate Comfort Food

There’s something about comfort food.

That food that takes you back, cradles you in home and family and feeds your body and your soul.

Wamsutta is one of my ultimate comfort foods.

Just the act of making it takes me back to all the kitchens of my life, all the different places my family has lived and the memories made there.

Every time I pull Granny’s Wamsutta recipe from my recipe binder and finger it’s tattered edges and squint my eyes at the writing so worn with age and use that it’s almost illegible, it’s like coming home, home to the place where your heart lives.

My mom made Wamsutta while the kids and I were in Bryan for Spring Break and I couldn’t get enough.  A friend asked me what the recipe was and even though the pictures made me gasp in horror – I sent her the link to my family’s Wamsutta recipe, and then put it on my list of things to re-make and re-photograph.

 

Given the healthier turn in our eating habits, combined with the fact that my soul needed some home cookin’ — this was made fast – quick- and in a hurry and with a few changes – upon returning home and re-stocking the fridge.

I grabbed up some ground turkey, canned tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, water chestnuts and cheese and got to cookin’

Granny’s original recipe, the one that my Mom still makes, calls for canned corn and stuffed olives…

Nathan doesn’t like canned corn and I’m actually not a fan of olives, so I made a few adaptations, including using whole wheat/whole grain penne pasta instead of wide egg noodles.  This is a flexible dish – use the flavors and textures that your family loves.

I sat on the couch tonight with a small bowl of wamsutta, steaming hot out of the oven, inhaled and tears came to my eyes.

Coming home.

Safety.

Love.

History.

Family.

It’s amazing what comfort food can do for our bodies, hearts and souls.

I’d love for y’all to add my family’s favorite comfort food to y’all’s homes.

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Wamsutta

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Approximate Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 9X13 casserole dish

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Wamsutta

Ingredients

  • Granny's Original Recipe
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 lb Ground Turkey
  • 10 oz favorite pasta - penne, egg noodle, rotini
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Tabasco
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Shredded Cheese, to cover

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, melt butter
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 °F
  3. Add in onion and bell pepper and stir and cook until they slightly softened and beginning to sweat
  4. Add in the ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the turkey is cooking, cook the pasta
  6. Drain the pasta and set aside
  7. Once the turkey is cooked, drain and return to the pot: add in the pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, Tabasco, and water chestnuts - stir until well mixed
  8. Spoon the turkey mixture into a 9X13 baking dish and top with cheese
  9. Bake 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbling and golden-delicious.
  10. Remove, allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.

Rachel Says

This can be stretched by adding more veggies or pasta, or beefed up by adding more meat - canned corn, olives and other veggies can add more dimension and flavor to this simple and delicious dish.

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Comments

  1. Monkey's Uncle says

    Sooooo good. I was more than willing to cheat on the diet to get a big bowl of Mom’s wamsutta. I think I may make a batch sometime this week myself.

  2. says

    I adore family recipes like this. There truly is something amazing about holding an old family recipe and cooking from it – it really does take you back. This is such a lovely post – thank you for sharing it, and your delicious family recipe for Wamsutta, as well as for hosting. Have a wonderful week.
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife´s most recent brilliance ..The Gallery of Favorites

  3. says

    Hi,
    I shared a recipe for fermented cabbage juice – an incredible healing food! Also, an article about how to conquer the sugar craving beast.

    Join me in the Detox Challenge!
    http://realfoodforager.com/detox-challenge-signup-and-6-stages-of-gaps-intro/

    Share any detox posts you have for metholds and recipes!
    http://realfoodforager.com/detox-challenge-linky/

    Thanks for hosting!
    Jill@RealFoodForager.com´s most recent brilliance ..Recipe: Fermented Cabbage Juice

  4. says

    i love the recipe you posted because that’s the genesis of my blog. I am cooking from all of Mom’s tattered recipes I dug up after she died. Not only have i reconnected with her but, so have her grandkids who barely got a chance to spend time with her. I linked up Mom’s Hot Milk Sponge Cake which is awesome and some honey-glazed crock pot chicken!
    shari@myjudythefoodie´s most recent brilliance ..Honey Glazed Crock Pot Chicken

  5. says

    Ok — what’s the story behind the name?

    And, I am the SAME way about my grandmother’s Pepper Steak or my mom’s Brown Beans and Cornbread…. they both are so evocative of warmth and hugs and being safely wrapped in someone’s arms…. that’s why I cook for my family — to, hopefully, give them the same memories.
    Rachel @ Following In My Shoes´s most recent brilliance ..Gluten/Lactose Free Apple Bread Pudding with a Hard Caramel Sauce

  6. says

    I think my gran’mama made something similar, but didn’t call it Wamsutta…
    Looks like the kind of dish table get hushed over!
    BLessings & thanks for sharing your heart in this post!
    my ” recipe” this week isn’t food related…but worthy of a quick read., IMHO!
    lib´s most recent brilliance ..A dozen

  7. says

    Comfort food recipes passed down through the family are the best!
    I shared my recipe for Butterscotch Macadamia Nut Cookies. This recipe is gluten free, but can be made with “regular” flour if you don’t have an issue with gluten. These cookies taste incredible and they are so much healthier than the original recipe!
    Thanks for hosting!
    Andrea @Andreas Kitchen´s most recent brilliance ..Butterscotch Macadamia Nut Cookies- gluten free or not!

  8. bebe says

    I put thyme in it, too. I just love the taste of the green olives in it. And the water chestnuts. And the mushrooms. And the tomatoes. And the green peppers. And the Tabasco. And the onion. And the cheese. It all just works together. How did it taste with your changes?

  9. says

    What a terrific post! THIS is why I blog about food in the first place – it reaches back through generations, it has the power to take you back with just one smell or taste. When done correctly it can heal the soul.

    I love the faded, stained recipe in your grandmother’s hand. Not quite the same as reading it off a website, is it? :)

    PS I’m totally making this, too.
    Mrs. Jen B´s most recent brilliance ..Butter Dip Biscuits

  10. says

    So ummm how have I never heard of this before? The name is completely foreign to me, but it sounds pretty good and ohhhh so homey with the casserole feel to it. I love it. Now to see if I can convince the wee ones to try it ;)

  11. says

    Looks so delicious! I cherish the handwritten recipes that I have from my great-granny and my mawmaw. Everytime I pick one of those tattered and torn recipes up, I think of them in the kitchen cooking a glorious spread of food for all of us. Such great memories!
    Melissa | Cajun Sugar Pie´s most recent brilliance ..Easter Egg Nests

  12. says

    Is there really anything that says comfort food more than a casserole? Especially when it’s a recipe passed down to us by our beloved moms and grandmoms? I’ve always considered myself truly blessed to have several family recipes and grateful that I’ve been able to share them with my own family and friends. This Wamsutta looks sooo good. I’d love to be able to reach right through the screen with a fork right now. :~) I’d love to know the origin of the name too!

    Newly linking up with the party this week and newly following! Thanks so much for hosting!
    Mary´s most recent brilliance ..Orange Honey Grilled Chicken

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