Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

Easy, quick, yummy weeknight dinner. I liked that it came together without too much hassle, and still tasted pretty good. I cheated and used bottled, powdered parmesan instead of the grated stuff, and parsley flakes instead of the fresh stuff. It was fine but if I made this again I would definitely go with real parmesan and fresh parsley.

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

1 lb. small tube or shell pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups fully cooked ham, diced
1 large sweet red pepper, diced
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ cups chicken broth (I used some leftover chicken stock)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

If you're planning on baking it, cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. (If you're serving it right out of the pot, cook it fully.) Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat egg. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt. Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. And her picture is prettier than mine. I attribute this in part to the peas in the background. I should've added some sort of contrasting side-dish! Blast!

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