Monday, November 28, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Ham and Roasted Broccoli

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food ( and thought it sounded yummy.  After reading the comments on the site, I did make a couple modifications, tho.  The lead in page had said you could sub in mushrooms instead of ham to make it vegetarian...I added them with the ham!  I also increased the quantities a little, as I wanted left overs for lunch, and even tho the recipe says it feeds four, it must be four people with no appetite, or who don't like food, as most recipes like this don't feed four people I know.  As it turned out, I fed two adults, a child who loves pasta, and had one container for leftovers.

Here is how I made it:  I bought a pound of broccoli crowns, which I trimmed into flowerettes.  I also had .40 pound mushrooms that I quartered.  I think more mushrooms would have been nice.  Put the broccoli and mushrooms on a baking sheet with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Roast at 425* for about 20 minutes, until broccoli is tender and both are getting a little browned.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil.  Add 8oz fancy egg noodles and cook just until tender...not mushy!  While the water was boiling and noodles cooking, I cut .40 pounds deli ham into small pieces.

Once the noodles were cooked, I drained them into a colander and put the pot back on the stove.  Here is another change I made.  When I was at the store looking at cream cheese, I saw that Philly had what they call Cooking Cremes on sale (they are flavored cream cheese based goodness for casseroles, etc.).  And the savory garlic had a couple with nearing expiration dates that were an extra dollar off.  So I got that instead of plain cream cheese.  Back to the recipe...I added about 2/3 of the container of cooking creme to the pot and stirred it to melting.  I then put everything in the pot -- broccoli, mushrooms, ham, noodles -- and stirred it all together.  I did add a couple tablespoons of hot water into the mix to thin the sauce a little.  Voila!  Everyone liked it and wanted more.  Next time, I will have to increase the quantities a little, so I can also use the whole container of cooking cream.  The original recipe also said you could sub chicken or turkey (deli meat, I assume) for the ham.  I think it would also be good with diced/shredded meat (leftover turkey, anyone?), and even diced pork would be yummy!  I was also thinking it would be good as a casserole with buttered bread crumbs on top...

I just ate my leftovers for lunch, and they were good, too...Now to figure out what is for dinner tonight!

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