A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Monday, July 16, 2007

Italian Mac n Cheese

1-Pound pasta cooked according to box instructions (I am using ziti and cook 8-10 minutes)
2 tablespoons butter
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 piece of ham steak, casing removed and diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of fresh pepper
1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup heavy cream
1-8 oz container for fresh mozzarella balls – the tiny ones, but NOT marinated, sometimes called bocconcini, I have found then in regular grocery stores under many different names – look in both the fresh mozzarella section as well as in the area with the prepackaged cheeses. If you cant find them use 1”chunks of fresh mozzarella instead

¼ cup extra breadcrumbs
Extra olive oil

About 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking start to cook the rest of the ingredients. Place a large Dutch oven or stockpot on medium heat. Add the butter and the olive oil. Once the butter has melted add the garlic and ham, cook for 1 minute. Do not let the garlic brown. Add salt, pepper and cooked pasta. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, heavy cream and mozzarella balls. Butter a baking dish about 9x13” and add pasta to the baking dish top with extra breadcrumbs and olive oil. Serve as is or refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Preheat oven to 350 and cook, covered with foil, for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.

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