Ham and Cheese Farfalle

Things I have learned from my mother:

Kate Middleton isn’t the only one who was a beautiful princess on her wedding day.  I grew up with this picture, and I always thought my mother looked like a fairy tale princess.  (Still do!)

2. When having babies, consider having a red-headed girl or a blond boy.  Make sure they either go barefoot or are wearing really sensible shoes, and always dress them in matching outfits.

My brother and I followed this example to the letter.  Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B:

And okay, maybe we had some help from our spouses.  (We may have fallen down on the sensible shoes/same outfit part, although we still have time on that one.  I think they both own black Converse sneakers.)

3. Always make about three times as much food as you are actually going to need for a holiday dinner.  You never know who is going to show up, and this way everyone gets to leave with leftovers.  And even with that, you are still going to have leftovers of your own.  Which is why we were still eating Easter ham many days after the Peeps were all gone, and why this recipe comes in so handy if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

What we are basically talking about here is a macaroni and cheese recipe that has been spiffed up by using pretty farfalle pasta, also known as bowties, and by tossing in some  – you guessed it – leftover ham.  I always cut it into nice little julienne slices to make it just as fancy.  If you want to get all healthy on me you could toss in some peas or some spinach or even some asparagus (that noise you here in the background is the red-headed teenager shouting NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!). 

Anyway, while the pasta is cooking, you stir up a simple cheese sauce of butter, flour, milk and shredded cheddar (as always, I love the Cabot cheddar best of all), and when the pasta is cooked, stir everything together.  Sprinkle with a little parmesan and pop it in the oven until it is just a little golden on top.  By the time you are finished eating, you’ll wish you had just a little more leftover ham.
Well, there’s always next year.  Right, Mom?

Here’s the recipe!

Ham and Cheese Farfalle
Serves: 4 serving
  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 ounces cubed cooked ham
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and pepper until smooth. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Add cheddar and stir until melted.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in cooked pasta and ham.
  3. Transfer to greased baking dish and scatter parmesan on top.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe adapted from  Allrecipes.com


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  1. PoetessWug says

    This is a "Go To" recipe for me…but without the bowtie pasta. I like elbows or egg noodles.

  2. Joanne says

    Well, I don't think I'm going to be able to follow through on that red headed OR blonde child thing…given just how much of a brunette I am. Sigh. But your mom certainly does look like a princess!

    This is definitely an awesome way to use up that ham! I would totally throw in some asparagus…teenage screams notwithstanding. 😛

  3. Beth S. says

    Wow! Your mom really was a fairy tale princess! That is one of the most stunning bridal pictures I've ever seen!

  4. Photocat says

    Your mom indeed looks like a princess in that dress. She looks like Grace Kelly. Wonderful receipt too! Another must try…

  5. Jacquelyn says

    Spiffed-up mac and cheese? Don't mind if I do! Love all of your recipes- keep them coming :)

  6. Pamplemousse1983 says

    I made this for dinner tonight. Oh. Mah. GAH. This is almost the most delicious thing I have ever made in my entire life! And so easy! I love you real hard right now!

  7. Celia says

    This recipe was a success for dinner tonight! I will be coming back to it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  8. christy says

    Love this recipe, thanks so much for sharing! It is definitely classic comfort food, that warms your soul. Your mom is beautiful… I’m a natural redhead…but sadly my genes did not prevail! My son is a blonde!

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