Does anyone remember Turci's?
I was born and raised in New Orleans. I am now 47. I grew up going to a restaurant almost weekly with my family called Turci's. It was down in the Quarter, very small and quaint. It was owned by a mother and daughter. The mother was completely blind, and in her 80's and would sit back in that kitchen every night and make sure the cooks were doing it all the right way. (All the pasta was from scratch and everything was out of this world!)The daughter ran the dining room, and she only had use of one arm. They had a Veal Ravioli with Butter, Cheese and Parsley that was TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!! I have tried repeatedly to try and replicate this recipe to no avail. I have thought about trying to contact Emeril, as he is from that era, but I am afraid my letter would get tossed. Does ANYONE remember this restaurant? Anyone have a killer Veal ravioli recipe that melts in your mouth.
Spaghetti Alla Turci
Neil A. Peyroux great-grandson of Theresa Turci, 31.07.1998
3/4 pound ground veal, divided
3/4 pound ground pork, divided
1/2 pound ground chicken gizzards
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced celery
4 toes garlic
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup diced fatty ham
24 ounces tomato paste
1 quart chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 pound boned, skinned chicken breast in large dice
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and brown the gizzards and 1/3 of the veal and the pork. Drain off excess fat and reserve the meat.
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large pot and sautee the onion, celery, garlic and bell pepper until transparent. Add the ham, the reserved meat and tomato paste and stir until it loses it’s bright red color. Add the stock, sugar, bay leaf, thyme, basil, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour, adding stock if it becomes too thick. It is well to chill this red gravy over night and reheat.
Beat the egg in a mixing bowl and add the bread crumbs, remaining pork and veal, and a little stock. Season and shape into small balls. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs.
Add the meatballs, the chicken breast and the mushrooms to the sauce and simmer for 1 hour. Correct seasoning and serve over al dente spaghetti.
Yields 8 cups
It was riverside of Maylie's (now Walk-Ons). I know that I have seen the spaghetti recipe and you can probably find it online. My recollection is that it closed in the Year of the Bad Batch (Dixie beer) adn that was 1974...I think. Somewhere in there. Prudhomme opened up in the late 1970's, maybe 1980. I remember going there (K-Paul) for the first time with lawyers and law students.about 1980.
I think ther was an effort to bring TUrci's back but I never went to the second (or, I guess, third) incarnation.
I am a little late to the original post, but wanted to reply anyway... While Turci's was before my time, my grandmother (a Turci) and mother grew up in the restaurant. I have heard a bunch of stories about the place and about one armed Aunt Rose. I never got a chance to experience the pasta, but I believe it was that good because my great great grandparents came from Italy. Some of the menus, recipes and pictures are framed around our family's house. You should be able to find some of the original recipe's on the internet and a couple were printed in the Times Picayune through out the years. I will take a look around my grandmother's house and see if they have the Veal recipe that you asked about. I doubt Emeril would be a good source of information, since he wasn't even from New Orleans.
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hi there...I was just doing some research on google to find out where Turci's restaurant was located because I have a vintage menu from there that I am about to list on Ebay. I was fascinated to read what you said about the owners.
There is no address on this menu but I am assuming it must be the same place because the dishes that I see mentioned are in this menu.
Thanks for all of the good information.
re: Panama Hat
My "new , revised, up to date" edition of the UG lists Turci's as being closed on the more traditional monday.
When it closed on Poydras, it opened uptown at the later location of Metronome records. I forget the street, but it was around where the Rue De La Course on magazine is now--on a side street. I thought it was still pretty good even after it had moved; sadly, such restaurants were on the way out at that time.
It was on Poydras, not in the quarter. I ate there several times a month throughout the 50's and 60's with my parents. I'll never forget those ravioli or their unique stuffed artichokes, or spaghetti a la Turci or the time the waiter with trembling hands spilled a bowl of soup in my father's lap....
The Poydras location closed in the 70's and a yuppie version funded by investors opened on Magazine. Although the one armed Ms. Turci was still there, the place wasn't the same and didn't last.
All of this was long before Emeril arrived in town.
You are absolutely correct! I remember now. And yes, we too visited the other location on Magazine St., and it was not even close to being the same as the original. I have the recipe for their stuffed artichokes (they gave that one to my parents), but I suppose my mother never considered attempting to make the ravioli, so she never got that recipe. I have such fond memories of that place. Yes, I think I remember that VERY old waiter with the trembling hands as well. Thanks so much for responding. I am so glad to connect with someone who remembers this wonderful place.