Once again I was trying to make everyone happy with a creamy, meat-filled, pasta dish. (And, if you’ve been following Chef 101 you know that I prefer to be dairy free. It’s not, after all, an allergy as my doctor thought. But after a year without dairy I didn’t miss it – or the bloated feeling. So, I’m back to a wee bit of dairy!) The teen wanted ham and cheese, and the hubby, coming off the stomach flu, was not up for an argument. This recipe was probably the first time, in a long time, that I did more than one thing at a time…if you can count cooking veggies and boiling pasta as two things. Served with a Clos Pepe Pinot Noir – it was perfect as it really cut through the heavy sauce. Anywho…my notes are in italics below. And, forgive me, I forgot to snap a pic of the plated meal and had to retrieve the leftovers from the fridge to get one!
by D. Rattray
- 6 ounces spaghetti, cut into small lengths ( I don’t own a kitchen scale, I poured in what looked to be 1/2 a 1 lb box of Penne, as using spaghetti in a casserole seemed weird…)
- 2 cups diced cooked ham (Should have used the ham “beefstick” from Hickory Farms I had, will next time.)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 to 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used 8oz as that is the size of the package and teen loves mushrooms, worked fine.)
- 4 to 6 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced (I chopped 4 scallions, why would I want slices?)
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (Didn’t have it)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic seasoned pepper or other pepper blend (Garlic pepper? What’s that? Skipped it.)
- dash cayenne or other hot pepper, as desired (Teen hates hot pepper, skipped it.)
- salt or more seasoned salt and pepper, to taste (Added while cooking sauce, once salty ham was in it was perfect.)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (Tried Lucerne this time as unless you grate it yourself some can be waxy.)
spaghetti Penne in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain and rinse in hot water; combine with ham in a large bowl.
Heat butter over medium low heat; add sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender; add green onions. Stir in flour until blended in thoroughly.
Gradually With the aid of a whisk, stir in chicken broth and milk. Add seasoned salt, pepper, and hot pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir into the spaghetti Penne and ham mixture; stir in cheese. Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.