Ham and Cheese Rigatoni With White Sauce
- Ready In:
- 4 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (or your favorite hard cheese blend)
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed in 1/2-inch pieces (a ball)
- 1⁄2 lb cubed ham (1/2-inch pieces)
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer the Panko but you can use any kind you like)
- Butter a 2 quart baking dish and lightly sprinkle 1 tsp bread crumbs over butter. Just sprinkle it with your finger tips like you would sprinkle salt over plate. It will be very sparse.
- Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Using a seive, whisk in flour. Squash out any lumps.
- Place saucepan on high heat for 2 minutes to get the milk warm then turn down to just above medium to avoid boiling. When the milk is warm, add the butter, nutmeg, grated parmesan and a dash of salt. (be careful because your ham will be salty as well) Stir gently. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens, 15 - 20 minutes. (this is a long way to get a bechamel sauce but it comes out nice).
- Cook your pasta just to al dente, it will continue to cook in the oven.
- When the sauce is thick and creamy remove it from the heat.
- Put your pasta in a large bowl, add the sauce over top. (all of it, it looks like a lot but it makes a nice creamy dish) Mix gently.
- Add ham and mozzarella cubes, fold all together. Pour into baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan to your liking.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, sauce should be bubbly and tips of pasta will be golden.
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RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
I am the mother of 2 teenageboys - 17 and 19 years old. The youngest one will try anything and likes almost everything. The oldest one tries very few things and likes even less.