Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ham & Peas Mac & Cheese

Be careful! This recipe might turn your family into mac and cheese snobs! We used to enjoy the boxed stuff but now, after having this version, find the boxed stuff to be acceptable but not all that great. This mac and cheese though is beyond acceptable and really great!
The addition of the ham and peas really puts the mac and cheese over the top. This works well to use any small amount of leftover ham you might have. It's a perfect make-ahead meal that I've often made in the morning or during nap time and then had it quite easy come dinnertime.

Ham & Peas Mac & Cheese
 Print Recipe
Yields: 8-12 servings

1 lb pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
~4 cups shredded cheese
1 cup peas
1/2 lb ham, diced 
   1.  Cook pasta following package directions.
   2.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup milk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk; cook until smooth and thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in spices. Whisk in 2 cups of cheese until smooth.
   3.  Mix together pasta, cheese sauce, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir in peas and ham. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Scatter remaining cheese over top.
   4.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until warmed through. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
   ~I often will put this in two smaller pans and freeze one.
   ~To cook from freezing let it thaw overnight in fridge; follow directions as normal. 
Adapted from: Family Circle

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats and Tasty Tuesday.

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