Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ham + Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta in Creamy White Sauce

This is an easy and simple recipe, especially when your looking for a quick meal after a long day. And you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your taste buds, such as adding vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers.  OR meats like bacon, chicken, or shrimp. And also makes for great leftovers :) It may not be your healthiest pasta dish, but definitely better for you than when ordering out-- I used low-fat milk, went lighter on the butter, and whole wheat flour to keep these calories lower, although it does cover your basic food groups and I suggest you serve with a salad on the side.
Ham + Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta in Creamy White Sauce: (serves 2-3)

1 1/2 cup milk*
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper
pinch of dried basil
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 cup shredded cheese*
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 slices of thin-sliced ham (chopped)
1/2 box of whole wheat pasta

Cook pasta according to package. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a spritz of oil and toss in the broccoli florets. Saute for about 5 minutes, until slightly brown and add in ham and garlic and cook for another minute. Add butter and let melt. Next combine flour, salt, pepper, and herbs to the pan, mixing well. Pour milk gradually and as it simmers, add the cheese. If desired (but highly recommended) sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top of sauce and mix (maybe like 1/8 cup). Drain pasta. Serve individual portions and add sauce over pasta, sprinkle more Parmesan and or red pepper flakes and devour.

* You can use any cheese you would like here. Of course some are better than others, but I just use what we have (today's was called Noche Azul) and you can always choose a low-fat cheese option. But if you don't want to use cheese, you can simply omit and decrease milk to 1 cup.

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