Baked Pasta with Spring Ham

Yield:
4 servings

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup shredded or thin sliced Italian Fontina cheese
  3. 1 cup fully cooked smoked ham, pulled into rough pieces (1/4 x 1-inch)
  4. 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and coarsely cut up (1/2-inch pieces)
  5. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peeled carrot
  6. 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  7. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  8. 1 box (8 ounces) penne pasta (conchiglie or gemelli)
  9. 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  10. 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  11. 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  12. 2 1/2 cups milk
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until smooth.

Gradually add the milk, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens, about 10 minutes; stir in the Parmesan-Reggiano cheese. Remove from heat.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water 5 minutes; add the peas and carrots and cook until pasta is firm to the bite, according to package directions. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking; drain.

Add the pasta and ham to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a shallow 2- quart baking dish. Tuck the pieces of egg into the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with the shredded Italian Fontina cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes until top is lightly browned.

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