Cheesy Ham & Sage Casserole
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Recipe type: Main dish
Prep: 
Cook: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A creamy, cheesy, surprisingly healthy casserole perfect for having handy in the freezer.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb / 450 g (approx) dry pasta (I use about 4-5 cups dry rotini)
  • 1½ cups cooked, cubed ham
  • 2 medium sweet apples, cored and diced (optional)
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup low fat sour cream
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • TOPPING (optional):
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs mixed with 3 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. LIghtly grease a 9x13-inch or similar size casserole dish, or two smaller ones, depending on your family.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, deep pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and garlic until all butter is absorbed and flour is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually pour in milk, whisking until smooth. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and let thicken, whisking frequently, for about 7 minutes. Turn off heat, then whisk in salt, sour cream, cheddar and sage.
  4. When the pasta is ready, combine it with the sauce, apples, and ham, tossing to coat evenly. Transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb mixture, if using. (If freezing, do NOT put bread crumb mixture on).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until heated through and bread crumbs are golden. If they aren't crisping up enough for you, broil on high for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.
Notes
If freezing: transfer mixture to casserole dish and let cool to room temperature. Wrap well with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze.
To use: thaw overnight in refrigerator. Add bread crumb mixture right before baking, if desired. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, removing foil for last 10 minutes of baking time and broiling for an additional 1-2 minutes if necessary to toast bread crumbs.
Recipe by Hidden Ponies at http://hiddenponies.com/2015/02/cheesy-ham-sage-casserole/