Monday, July 30, 2012

Cheesy Baked Penne with Ham and Broccoli

I was told this is a keeper!  Everyone really enjoyed it.  This quick and easy dish went great with fresh beets from the farmer's market, a salad and Italian bread.   I will definitely be making this again soon.

salt and pepper
8 oz penne pasta (I used about 10-12 oz)
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
5 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or other coarse bread crumbs)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups low-fat milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, grated (I used white cheddar)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 oz ham, cut into 1 inch strips (I used 8 oz of ham)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta for 7 minutes (or a little less).  Add broccoli; cook 3 to 4 minutes longer.  Drain, rinse with cold water; drain again.  Pour into greased casserole dish.

In a pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Remove 1 TBS melted butter; stir this 1 TBS of butter into panko in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Add flour to pan of butter; whisk until bubbling, about 1 minute.  Whisk in milk.  Add paprika, pepper and salt to taste.  Constantly stir until sauce thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.  Watch carefully so milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in Gruyere (or Swiss) and 1 1/2 cups cheddar and Parmesan into sauce until smooth.  Stir in ham.

Stir sauce into pasta and broccoli.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar.  Sprinkle reserved panko on top of cheese.  Bake until crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbling, 30 minutes. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(I felt that the pasta was a little too done.  You may not want to cook for as long as noted above)

Serves: 6-8

Source:  All  You -  Eat Well, Save Big Cookbook


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