Ham & Cheese Baked Pasta

I meant to share this recipe last week so you had a use for your leftover Easter ham… but alas, school got in the way. As Stephanie Tanner would say, “how rude!” I mean, why should school be more important than blogging? Kidding!

But despite the delay, this pasta is still as awesome as it was two weeks ago when I made it. I glazed the Easter ham this year with a mixture of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Before brushing on the glaze, I scored the ham in diamond criss-cross pattern and stuck whole cloves in the points. After we feasted on the ham for dinner, I whipped up the leftovers into something just as fabulous.

It’s warm, comfy baked pasta dotted with savory ham, crisp broccoli, and sweet red bell pepper all wrapped up in a gooey, garlicky, cheese sauce that is utterly out of this world. Topped with some crunchy Panko bread crumbs, you’ll have a hard time saying no to seconds [or thirds!].

Hungry? Hope so!

Ham & Cheese Baked Pasta
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces uncooked pasta, such as penne or ziti [approximately 3 cups dry]
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 8 ounces grated Colby cheese
  • heaping 1/2 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced [heaping 1/2 cup]
  • 8 ounces cooked ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta to al dente, adding broccoli during the last minute of cooking. Return pasta and broccoli to pan.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in flour slowly, cooking until bubbly. Then add milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in Colby, mustard, and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir until cheese melts, then pour cheese sauce over pasta. Add bell pepper and ham, and mix until combined.

Pour into ungreased 2 quart baking dish, top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Bake, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Time: 45 minutes [20 minutes active].

Yield: 8 servings.

About these ads

3 thoughts on “Ham & Cheese Baked Pasta

Thanks for visiting... I would love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s