Pepin's Penne, Ham and Vegetable Gratin

READY IN: 23mins


  • 1 34
    cups penne (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 12
    cups diced ham (honey ham is delicious in this)
  • 34
    cup corn (about one ear, frozen works just fine)
  • 12
    cup frozen peas
  • 1 12
    cups zucchini, 1/2-inch cubes
  • 34
    cup grated cheese (we prefer Gruyere, but any you like will work)
  • 2
    tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2
    tablespoons flour
  • 2
    cups milk
  • 12
  • 2
    tablespoons parmesan cheese


  • Boil about 2 quarts of water. Add penne and cook about 12 minutes until al dente (slightly firm). Drain and cool under cold water.
  • Put cooked penne into a large bowl and stir in the ham, corn, peas, zucchini and cheese.
  • Make the White Sauce:
  • Melt butter in saucepan, add the flour, and whisk it together until smooth.
  • Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring a bit. The sauce should thicken.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Let it cool until lukewarm.
  • Heat the broiler. Add the sauce to the penne and vegetables, and place in a shallow baking dish that can hold about 6 cups.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Broil about 4 inches from the heat until the top is lightly browned (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  • Serve immediately.
  • NOTE: Pepin says you can make this ahead of time up to adding the Parmesan. It will keep, covered, at room temperature for a few hours, or up to a day in the fridge before finishing in the oven, so it's a great make-ahead dish. If refrigerated, just bring it back to room temp and bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.
  • SECOND NOTE: Don't let this sit in the oven after it's finished or it will become gooey.