Mother Nature may be lulling us into thinking that warm weather and green grass are right around the corner, but we all know we'll probably get a bit more snow and ice before spring truly arrives. Why not get one last hot dish fix in before the end of winter? And, as long as you’re making lots of food, invite some folks over for a potluck! This hearty casserole is sure to soothe your late-winter guests.
Find out how to host a potluck for Open Arms.
Ham and Cheese Pasta
(Serves 8-10 people)
2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb. spaghetti
1 1/2 lb. ham, diced *
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups broccoli tops
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup onions
1/4 cup garlic
6 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. flour
4 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.
2. Stir together bread crumbs, butter, garlic, cayenne pepper, and parmesan cheese and set aside.
3. Cook spaghetti in water (don’t add oil) until done. Drain.
4. Saute diced ham in pan with a little water and the brown sugar until the ham absorbs the sugar. Set aside.
5. Saute onions, celery and garlic until soft. Add the broccoli and continue cooking the vegetables until the broccoli is bright green. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
6. In Dutch oven, saute the flour in 6 tablespoons of the butter to create a roux; let the butter and flour brown and turn nutty. Add the milk and stir until thick. You can adjust thickness by adding more milk.
7. Add cheese, ham and vegetables, stir until coated and then put the entire mixture in baking dish and sprinkle with bread-crumb mixture. (This dish should fill a 9x12 pan or bigger.)
8. Bake for one hour or until breadcrumbs are toasty brown.
* You can make this a fantastic vegetarian dish by omitting ham and increasing the amount of veggies.