Macaroni au Four is what my mother-in-law calls it, but we'll just call it Baked Pasta au Gratin.
I was at Longo's doing my grocery shopping over the weekend and stumbled across this ham. It was on special and I thought I could make use of it in my baked pasta recipe. Normally, I make this with fresh sliced black forest ham from the deli, but this was a deal I couldn't refuse.
My youngest daughter has been requesting this meal for a while now, but I've been avoiding making it due to my other daughter's allergy to pork. She recently underwent BIE treatments and has been asked to avoid pork for 6 months to 2 years. (The waiting time for her body to reprogram before getting updated blood work).
Momma to the rescue once again! If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you will see a pork free version I made for her before mixing the pork into the creamy cheese sauce.
This meal is a big hit with small children and is an even bigger one as they get older.
There is no need to season with salt. The pork and cheese are quite salty on their own.
Cooked pasta water
Beef Bovril (Optional)
1. Cook pasta half way. Strain and keep pasta water for use in sauce. (If you forget, just boil water on
2. Melt butter in large saucepan. Mix in 2 to 3 wooden spoonfuls of flour until dissolved.
3. Gradually add pasta juice to thicken sauce and then add approximately 3 handfuls of cheese and ham.
4. Add ½ beef Bovril (Optional).
5. Season with salt and pepper (Optional).
6. Mix sauce with half cooked pasta and then pour into glass baking dish..
7. Spread remaining grated chees over pasta
8. Bake covered with foil at 350°F for approximately 45 minutes. Remove foil during last 5 minutes and broil to give pasta a crunchy top.