Do you have hordes of ham leftover from the holidays and are perhaps a little sick of thought of yet another ham sandwich? This great make-ahead pasta dish can rescue you from the typical ho-hum ham leftovers.
Even if you don't have any leftovers, it's a nice easy, family-friendly dish to add to your nightly dinner rotation. Because it contains ham, broccoli, pasta and cheese, you cover most of the major food groups with one dish. Just add a salad or some fruit, and dinner is served.
Here's the recipe, which my mother-in-law passed on to me:
Ham and Broccoli Pasta Bake
14 ounces pasta (I use whole wheat rotini)
1 10-ounce package of frozen broccoli (defrosted and chopped)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups of cooked ham, diced
1 15-ounce jar Alfredo sauce (I use light)
1/2 cup milk (skim or 2 percent is fine)
1 cup cheddar cheese (2 percent works well)
Boil the pasta according to package directions and drain.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook ham until it starts to brown. Add broccoli and cook until extra moisture is absorbed.
Stir in Alfredo sauce and milk and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in cooked pasta and bring to a simmer.
Spread the bubbling pasta mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish and top with cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
You can also top with a breadcrumb mixture (2 Tablespoons of melted butter mixed with 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs), but it's fine without it too if you want to save the extra step and fat.
Image via WordRidden/Flickr