Rotini pasta may be used in place of penne, prep time does not include cooking the pasta --- if desired sprinkle 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese on the last 3 minutes of baking time --- this is *very* good!
- 16 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained (measure 16 ounces uncooked, I use half of a 900-gram package)
- 3 cups cubed cooked ham (or use as much as desired)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or 1/2 teaspoon white salt)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional or to taste)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups half-and-half cream (or use half milk and cream)
- 2⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 1⁄2 cups grated cheddar cheese (a little more won't hurt)
- Set oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Place the cooked penne and the ham into a large bowl; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
- Add in mustard powder, black pepper, seasoned salt and cayenne pepper and onion, stir and cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add in garlic; cook stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add in flour and mix continously for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add in the cream and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese; cook stirring over medium-low heat until bubbly.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheddar cheese until completely melted.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and ham; toss until well combined.
- Transfer to a greased baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top with about 1/3 cup or more Parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.