Monday, April 20, 2009

Ham Tetrazzini

My older brother and I were rather picky eaters. I won't lie. My mother wanted to be much more adventurous than we would allow her to be. (I particularly remember one fateful Christmas when my Mother cooked up Aebelskivers instead of the customary cinnamon rolls. We were not very appreciative of her efforts, much to my shame. Poor Mom...)

Ham Tetrazzini, or "Ham Tet" as we have come to call it, is one thing that would be sure to please. It's a little like pasta carbonara, with salty ham and creamy sauce, but it uses kid-friendly cheddar and condensed soup. Now that I'm the cook in my own home, it's a staple of the recipe box that definitely serves me well in a pinch. Plus, I always have the ingredients on hand -- frozen peas, dried pasta, canned soup, frozen diced ham -- making it that much easier to whip it up in a pinch!

Ham Tetrazzini

1 lb. dried pasta, any shape (my favorites are farfalle (bowties), shells, and campanelle)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup diced ham
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (two big handfulls or so)
salt and pepper
1/2 - 1 c. frozen peas (optional but recommended)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
Add ham, and cook until slightly browned.
Stir in soup and milk.
Add cheese, salt and pepper. Let simmer until sauce is thickened. Add peas, if desired and let simmer until peas are heated through.
Toss with pasta and serve.

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