Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baked Ham & Ziti Casserole

First off-- Happy Mother's Day to all the mommy bloggers out there!

Did you know that you could use your oven to bake things other than desserts? I know, it's a shock. The other night I decided to give it a try. This recipe is from an old ripped-out magazine page I found. I wish I knew what magazine it was from, sorry! This is a easy and fairly quick dinner option. My only suggestion would be that  you may want to make extra sauce. I used the measurements that the recipe called for and my pasta got a little dried out on the top from not being covered with enough sauce. I used a 9 x 13 casserole dish and double the amount of sauce would have been perfect.

Baked Ham & Ziti Casserole

8oz penne pasta
12 oz fresh broccoli florets
8 oz diced ham steak
white sauce (recipe below)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Add pasta to pot of rapidly boiling salted water, cook for 4 minutes
Add broccoli florets to pot with pasta, cook until broccoli is tender and pasta is al dante (about 6 minutes)
Drain immediately and transfer to bowl (I put it right in the casserole dish to make things easier)
Add ham, toss to mix
Prepare white sauce, while still hot add cheese and stir until melted
Pour over pasta mixture
Toss lightly and bake for 30 minutes or until browned

Basic White Sauce (makes about 2 cups)

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on high in microwave safe bowl, about 20-30 seconds
Stir in flour until smoothly blended
Add milk, salt and pepper and stir until blended
Microwave on high, stir every 30 seconds or so until sauce is thick and bubbly about 1-2 minutes

In case you haven't noticed yet, I love up-close pictures of food!


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