Ease your cold weather and Covid-19 workload with comfort food; like this quick, easy, cheesy, stovetop ham and pasta dish.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has increased our daily workload. Now, in addition to the already crazy modern life tasks, we are making masks, searching for disinfection materials, and sneaking into the grocery store at an ungodly hour to avoid people. Many are trying to find a professional looking office space somewhere in the house, trying to keep kids focused on online schoolwork, and trying to remember to wear a mask whenever we venture out into the world. Suddenly, we avoid more than a few people, re-think that haircut, and miss grandchildren’s hugs. And although we are cooking many more meals at home, we can lighten our load with quick, easy, comfort food recipes!
Several years ago, I collected all our family favorite recipes. I put them together in a book, made especially for my children while they were away at college. Most of the recipes are quick and easy to prepare. I find myself going back to those recipes once more. They just what we need when the to-do list is already the length of my arm! The original recipe calls for real ham, but since I am a vegetarian, I used a meat analog here. Make it whichever way your family prefers. Serve with sliced tomatoes, a green salad, or steamed green beans.
There are plenty of ways to alter this recipe:
- use evaporated milk instead of half-and-half
- use low-fat ricotta cheese instead of Parmesan and then top with a sprinkle of Parmesan
- use a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter
- add even more vegetables to the mix, like chopped carrots, broccoli, or sun-dried tomatoes for increased vegetable servings.
Experiment – remember a good cookbook serves as a jumping off point for creativity!
Cheesy Ham and Pasta
- 3/4 pound medium sized pasta shells, penne, rotelle, etc.
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 3/4 cup cooked, diced ham or meatless ham substitute
- 3 Tablespoons sliced, roasted red pepper
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- hot sauce to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas during last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
- Drain pasta and return to pot.
- Add ham and roasted red pepper to pasta mix.
- Add remaining ingredients. Toss gently, over low heat, until cheese is melted and pasta is coated with sauce; about 3-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe came from our budget-friendly cookbook, I Want My Dinner Now! – Simple Meals for Busy Cooks. Get Your copy at our Etsy store today!