This is really not a "healthy" recipe or low in fat and calories. It is more like something from Paula Deen with all the butter and cheese. :-) I created it eons ago when my kids were small and everyone seemed to eat like this. It's still a family favorite and I made this dish for my son and his family after Easter. It's long been a favorite of his and my grandson. I had prepared a ham for Easter Sunday and there was quite a bit left. (You don't have to add the ham if you prefer not to.) I really don't use exact measurements either...it really depends on the size of the batch you're making and the dish you will use. Please refrain from oohing and ahhhing about this "gorgeous baking dish" ~ anyone can have them. Just look in the "throw away" foil container section in your favorite grocery store! :-) When I take food to my kids, I use the foil containers at times so they don't have to worry about the clean-up or returning dishes to me.
Seriously, this is an example of what I used in this 9x13 dish:
1 large pkg elbow pasta
Cook as directed on package for the smallest amount of time since it will be baking to finish. When ready, drain the cooked pasta, saving some of the water it was cooked in.
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
Make sure it is thoroughly mixed, smooth and then set aside.
Add to the drained pasta:
1 stick butter
1 lb. pkg Velveeta Cheese, cubed
About 3 c. of the saved pasta water along with the milk & flour mixture
Toss in other cheeses that have been grated ~ I love adding Pepper Jack for a kick! I used that, some mozzarella and sharp cheddar in this.
Add as much ham as you'd like, making sure it is cut into bite size pieces.
Stir well and ensure that the mixture is a little bit soupy as it will thicken as it bakes. Add cracked pepper to taste. I don't add salt due to the salt in all the cheeses/butter/ham.
At this point, I cover the "gorgeous" baking dish with foil...place on a cookie sheet just in case and place it in a pre-heated 350' oven for about 30 min. Remove the foil, sprinkle more shredded cheese of your choice on top and return to oven for about 15 min.
Enjoy ~ and don't tell your Dr. :-)
I am joining Miz Helen and Michael Lee West for their weekly memes. Surely you've seen their blogs? :-) If not, please stop by ~ some of the best recipes ever are shared on both!