Kid Friendly Casserole

  • 1  pound  farfalle pasta
  • 2  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1  pound  white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1  package (10 ounces)  frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2  pound  finely diced smoked ham (such as Cumberland Gap)
Directions 1. Heat oven to 350°. Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta in lightly salted water following package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan (not nonstick) over medium heat. Stir in flour until well blended; cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup of milk and cook, whisking continuously, until smooth. Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk and continue to cook, whisking until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk in 2 cups of the cheese until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, cheese sauce and 1 cup of the remaining cheese. Stir in the peas and ham. Pour into prepared baking dish. Scatter remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over the top.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 minutes. May be served warm or at room temperature.


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