Ham Tetrazzini (Sort of)

Traditional tetrazzini involves non-red meat, mushrooms, and almonds in a Parmesan sauce over pasta. So I’ve got the non-red meat part, but this recipe diverges from the traditional. It’s still a cream sauce, but with Asiago rather than Parmesan. The two could be interchanged, however. If I’d had mushrooms, I would have added them. I didn’t. The peppers and onions were great. We’ll just call this a flexible tetrazzini.

pa190075.jpgFlexible Ham Tetrazzini
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Ingredients: 
1 pound angel hair, spaghetti, fettuccine, or egg noodles
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup butter, separated
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 pound cooked ham, cubed
1/2 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon dill
8 ounces (1/2 lb) Asiago or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and Pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped

Method: 

In a large pot, heat enough water to cook the pasta. When it comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.pa190071.jpg

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan. Add the garlic and onions; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers. Cook over medium heat until tender. Reduce the heat to low and add the cubed ham.

Meanwhile, in a smaller saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter over medium low heat. When melted and beginning to bubble, add the flour and whisk in until completely combined. Reduce heat to low; slowly whisk in the 2 cups of milk. Stir constantly as the mixture begins to thicken. Add the dill. Stir in the cheese a little bit at a time, stirring continually so that it does not stick and burn on the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

pa190074.jpg Add the cooked pasta to the ham mixture, then stir in the chopped tomato just until warmed through. Pour the cream sauce over the top and stir to combine.

Serve immediately. It’s good the next day for lunch, too…

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