Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

I love casseroles.  And fortunately for me, my husband doesn’t mind it when I find a new recipe to try out.  As scared as he might be at the prospect of me playing the mad scientist in the kitchen, he never lets on.  He is truly a brave soul!

Over the years, I’ve found that some casseroles can look better than they actually taste, and vice-versa.  I’ve been pleased with some, and disappointed with others. 

A recipe I found at the Better Homes and Gardens website inspired me to make this dish. 

I also have several other casserole recipes to work through and I’ll be sharing them here too.  If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my blog via email so you never miss one of my posts.  

Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

Ingredients:

2 2/3 c. bow tie pasta (cook according to package)

1 tbsp. margarine

1 small onion, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 mini sweet red pepper, diced

1 mini sweet yellow pepper, diced

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, heaping

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. season salt

1/4 tsp. dried parsley

2 c. fresh spinach, rinsed, dried, and chopped

1 c. cooked ham, cubed or sliced

1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced

3/4 c. mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a large skillet, add margarine, onion, red and yellow peppers, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables are soft  and tender.  Add flour, milk and chicken broth; cook until it thickens – stirring often. Stir in parmesan cheese, pepper, season salt, and parsley.  Remove from heat and add ham, spinach, and pasta; mix thoroughly.  Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Top with tomato and mozzarella cheese. 

Bake uncovered for 22-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. 

Serves 6Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

So what do (we) think about this dish?  It’s a winner.  It’s creamy, cheesy, and has a hint of smoky flavor.  I served this casserole with a tossed salad and garlic bread; it was a perfect meal for a cold winter night. 

The only problem with this casserole? Getting good pictures of it on a dark winter night.

Do you like casseroles?  If so, what’s your favorite? Ham, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole

 

 

Spur of the moment

This pasta dish was a spur of the moment idea since I hadn’t given much thought to what we were having for dinner until it was time to make it. 

Armed with my ingredients, ground Italian sausage, green pepper, onion, garlic, a jar of  spaghetti sauce (with mushrooms), Italian seasoning, parsley, and a can of diced tomatoes, I set out to prepare a feast in a hurry

What gave me even more incentive to make this comfort food? The fact that cooler temperatures had made their way to our area.  We could finally give our grill a well deserved break. 
 
Paired with a freshly sliced cucumbers, and a loaf of  fresh-baked Pillsbury french bread, the feast was there to be had.  And,  I have to admit I went back for seconds…

Side note

Last minute decisions on what to have for dinner are pretty common in our place of abode.  It usually boils down to what’s on hand.  Once we narrow that down we go from there.

Last night was no exception.  After deciding we’d grill a couple steaks, the second question was – What to have with it??  Now, it should be noted that my husband does all the grilling and he is very good at it, so that usually leaves me with the task of preparing the side(s).

One of my more recent concoctions (which we have quite frequently now) resulted from having the lack of ingredients in the house. After scouring our cupboards and the fridge I came up with this:   First, I boiled some pasta (your choice).  I’ve used linguine, angel hair, and spaghetti.  When the pasta is ready, I throw it in a pan with some olive oil and a little crushed garlic.   Next, I add whatever veggies I have on hand - last nights dish ended up with a small sprig of  broccoli (par-boiled) from our garden and a few black olives.  Lastly,  I add some black pepper, some parm cheese, and Italian seasoning.  

Of course the beauty to this is you can use whatever pasta, veggies and herbs you have on hand.  It’s on the lighter side, and is quick and easy. 

Give it a try.  Let me know what ingredients you favor.  Enjoy!