Baked pasta with ham is our go-to meal for Sunday dinner with family or friends. The rich and flavorful cream sauce will trick everyone into thinking that we’ve slaved over a stove all day, but the actual preparation is less than an hour from start to finish! Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, so we like to mix up the cheese blend from time to time, as it suits our tastes. Sharp cheddar complements the salty ham perfectly, and Italian-blend cheeses remind us of grandma’s home cooking. And a warm pasta dish like this needs something green and cool on the side, so we go for a simple salad with oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. For an extra impressive-looking dish, try swapping out the rotini pasta for fancier shapes, such as campanelle, radiatori or gigli. From the creamy sauce to the savory ham, we love this dish as simple comfort food that everyone loves.
Cheesy Baked Ham and Noodles
- 1 pound rotini, penne or elbow pasta, dry
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 cups ham, cubed
- 2 cups Italian-blend shredded cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add rotini, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Sauté onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Combine half and half, milk, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan.
- Simmer milk and cheese mixture over low heat until the cheese is melted, stirring continuously.
- Place the cooked pasta into a 8-inch by 11-inch glass baking dish, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle diced ham over pasta.
- Pour cream sauce over pasta and ham; toss lightly to coat.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Remove from oven to let sauce thicken for 5 minutes, then serve. Allow to cool slightly, as cheese sauce will be very hot.
Recipe adapted from Simply Delicious Food