Ham and Linguine Casserole
Serves 10 – 12
4 cups cooked and diced ham
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (2% or whole), scalded
1/3 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound linguine noodles, broken into thirds and cooked to al dente
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Add a couple tablespoons of canola or olive oil into a large skillet. Over medium heat, sweat onions until softened. Add red and green peppers and cook until they just become tender, about 5 minutes.
In a sauce pan, melt butter on medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth (and flour taste is cooked out), about three minutes. Pour in scalded milk and chicken broth. Cook, constantly stirring, until very thick. Mix in 1/2 cup of cheddar and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and stir until melted and creamy. Remove from the heat and add mustard powder, salt, and pepper.
Combine sauce with ham, linguine, and vegetables. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and parmesan on top and cook until warm and bubbling, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.
To reheat, cut the casserole into large squares. Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water into the seams and around the edges. (This allows moisture to steam the casserole instead of drying it out. The slices will “cook” themselves back together and the water will evaporate.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350Â°F until hot and bubbly.
If you aren’t feeding a crowd, split the casserole between two smaller dishes and freeze one for next week.
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