HAM AND CHEESE PASTA BAKE

3 tbsp (40 mL) butter
2/3 cup (150 mL) chopped onion
3 tbsp (40 mL) flour
1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard
3 cups (750 mL) milk
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper
2 cups (500 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
16 oz (500 g) fusilli pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) julienned ham
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
2/3 cup (150 mL) fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, melted
Paprika

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and dry mustard; cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk; cook, stirring, until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Combine sauce with pasta, ham, tomatoes and peas. Spoon mixture into a greased shallow 3 quart (3 L) baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over casserole. Dust with paprika. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let stand for 20 - 30 minutes. Bake, covered, at 350ºf (180ºc) for 40 - 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Serves 6.

 
Last updated on May 19, 2017