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I make several variations of cheesy pasta; this is probably the fastest and the most favoured. You can use regular or marble cheddar, but the dish will look and taste a little different.

1/2 batch of wide cooked home made pasta
[alternatively you can use 10 fresh lasagna noodles or 3 fresh lasagna sheets]
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup light cream cheese
1/2 + 1/4 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ham cubes
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

• If using homemade pasta, make 1/2 batch of the noodle recipe first.
• Cut the noodles one inch wide. [Homemade noddles will increase in size when cooked.]
• Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F.
• Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
• Cook the pasta until pleasantly soft, but do not overcook.
• Drain the pasta and place it in a large mixing bowl.
• Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and toss to coat. Set the pasta aside.
• Blanche the broccoli florets until they are dark green in color.
• Drain broccolis and set them aside.
• In a medium sized pot, bring the milk to the boil.
• While the milk heats up, place the cream cheese in a medium sized bowl.
• Gradually whisk some of the hot milk into the cream cheese to incorporate.
• Transfer cheese mixture back to the pot.
• Add 1/2 cup of the shredded white cheddar, whisking all the while.
• Bring the cheese sauce to a slow simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.
• Add the cubed ham and toss.
• Add the broccoli florets and toss it into the pasta very gently.
• Spray an ovenproof dish with cooking spray.
• Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared dish.
• Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup white cheddar cheese and the breadcrumbs.
• Bake in a preheated oven until the cheese melts and the pasta and breadcrumbs are lightly toasted.
• Remove from the oven, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
• This is even better if reheated the next day.



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