September is here! That means the kids are back at school and we are all in a mad rush to get a dozen things done each day between now and bedtime. It’s times like this that we need to find something filling and easy to clean up after. I think this is a casserole that checks both those boxes. This is especially great if you have left over ham from a previous meal that you want to use up. It also makes great leftovers for lunch… if you end up having any leftovers.
Baked Pasta with Ham, Broccoli and Cheese
4 TBS butter, divided
1/4 C. fine dry bread crumbs
8 oz (Half a box) penne pasta
2 tsp. All purpose flour
2 C. milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
6oz. Diced cooked ham (not deli meat)
1 C. Cooked broccoli. chopped
1 C. Shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 C. Shredded Provolone cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using the microwave, melt 1 TBS of the butter and mix with dry bread crumbs, then set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain it well and set aside, but keep it warm. In a heavy saucepan, melt the rest of the butter and add the flour. Whisk it constantly for 1 minute on medium heat and slowly add the cold milk and whisking it well. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer, then allow it to cook for 7-8 minutes and thicken. Add the garlic, broccoli, ham, all the cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir it well until the cheese melts. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and pour everything into a greased 9×9 casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Peel back the foil and sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs and cook for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.
By Stephanie Seaberg, Resident since 2010
Stephanie Seaberg has lived in the East Bay for the last 30 years, and is a SRVHS Alumni. Steph is a play-writer and director for Theater Performance Workshop, KAOS Camp, and Golden Oak Montessori. Steph lives for cooking, theater, photography, travel, and singing.