Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mac and Cheese with Ham and Broccoli

Hold onto your hats people I have yet another mac and cheese recipe for you. This one is friggin’ awesome!

I had some left over baked ham in the fridge and a craving for mac and cheese so I slapped them together with some fresh broccoli for the health factor, of course and ended up with pasta perfection!

What you need, 

8 oz. dried pasta, I used cute little spirals but use what you like
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups ham, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups fresh broccoli florets cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, I used 2%
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup crushed cracker crumbs, I used plain Ritz

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish with butter.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until el dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot heat the oil over medium high heat. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the butter to the pot and stir until melted. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until slightly golden brown and the mixture starts to smell a little nutty.

Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Cook for 5 or so minutes stirring all the while until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and pepper, then the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
Slowly add the Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese, whisk until smooth.
Stir in the cooked pasta and ham and stir to combine. Fold in the broccoli florets.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the cracker crumbs.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.

Let the pasta stand for 5 minutes before serving, so you don’t burn your tongue off!

You can never go wrong with mac and cheese but this was a great twist on the traditional. We gobbled it up! Plus it made a great left over lunch the next day.



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