March 20, 2010

Ham, Broccoli & Mushroom Peppered Pasta

This one was my own creation using some leftover ham, and we really liked it - the fresh broccoli and whole grain pasta make it really filling, and the creamy white sauce adds a really nice, smooth flavor.  This dish is GREAT as leftovers (maybe even better than fresh out of the oven) and very versatile!  For vegetarians, you could certainly omit the ham and add more vegetables. 

8 oz. whole grain pasta (I used Penne)
3 c. fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 c. chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
1.5 c. diced ham (I used turkey ham)
White Sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 c. parmesan + 1/4 c. parmesan for topping (shredded)
10 whole peppercorns (if this is too much for you, used fresh cracked pepper)

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes, then add broccoli.  Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until broccoli is just tender.  Drain immediately and place in large casserole dish.  Add ham and chopped mushrooms and mix well.  Prepare white sauce, adding shredded parmesan into sauce until melted.  Stir in peppercorns to sauce.  Immediately pour over pasta.  Toss well.  Cover with remaining paremsan to top.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

White sauce
4 TBS. butter
4 TBS. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. milk

Melt butter, add flour, salt and garlic powder.  Stir over medium heat to create a paste.  Add milk, and stir until you reach desired consistency, adding more or less milk for thicker/thinner consistency.

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