Penzey's website and with newfound, albeit short-lived, enthusiasm for making "real food" and using some spices I recently purchased from Penzey's, this looked right up on my alley to venture to make. That means it's both easy to make and something my picky palate would eat. I did modify it slightly though by omitting the mushrooms since I don't like them. I also chopped the onion in small pieces so they wouldn't get in the way of my eating. I don't mind onions if they're small enough and go unnoticed when I take a bite. I'm okay with the flavor of onions, it's the slippery texture I'm not wild about. But when you mix them with equally-soft-textured pasta, small bits of cooked onion are fine.
|A serving with a faux Red Lobster biscuit|
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional, I left them out)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Penzey's pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds cooked, cubed ham
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
- While pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet, Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until tender and golden, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, sprinkle on the flour and pepper and stir to combine. Gradually add the stock and milk, stirring vigorously as you drizzle it in; simmer until thickened. Add the cheese, nutmeg and lemon juice. Stir until melted and combined, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the pasta and ham; stir to combine. Spoon into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees. uncovered, for 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden.