Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham

My husband planned all the meals this week, with intentions of cooking as well, and he did it all through this month's Food Network Magazine. This is one of his choices, though I ended up making it.

This one was a huge hit with my family. The one year old gobbled it up, the four year old thought it was mac and cheese and ate it up, and my husband and I thought it was delicious. It was super creamy and gooey and cheesey, had the right amount of textures, and was really flavorful.

I made a few slight changes, using heavy cream instead of evaporated milk, and honey ham steak instead of deli ham, and I added black pepper at the end. Nothing crazy. But a crazy yummy dinner.

Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham Food Network Magazine, December 2011
Kosher salt
12 ounces penne
1 cup frozen peas
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 cup evaporated milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
3 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces deli ham, in 1 piece, diced
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 8 minutes, adding the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg white, evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
Drain the pasta and peas; wipe the pot dry and return the pasta and peas to the pot. Add the butter and stir to coat. Add the cheddar, mozzarella, fontina and the egg mixture. Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the ham halfway through cooking (don't let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

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