Cheddar Baked Macaroni and Ham is a dish that I seldom make. Because I consider this dish to be a full meal, I usually make enough to bring to work the next day. This time I did not want to use a whole box of macaroni. So I decided to use my mini Le Creuset dishes. These Le Creuset dishes are similar to ramekins and make food a bit more presentable.
When you bake pasta in small dishes, you control your food portion, and you don’t go overboard with your starchy foods. It is also easier when entertaining because everyone takes one ramekin. Although it might seem convenient, you will end up with more dishes to wash.
People are always happy and amazed to see food served in ramekins or small serve-wares because they don’t have to worry about taking too much or too little. So don’t forget to impress your guests the next time you entertain and make sure you have either a dishwasher or someone to wash dishes for you.
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No matter how many times I use small bowls or ramekins to bake pasta, I always end up with more than two servings. They usually say that 1 cup of macaroni is equal to 1 serving. Has anyone looked at 1 cup of cooked pasta? That is not one serving. There is so many contradictory information when it comes to food that no one knows what to believe anymore.
And if you are like me, you will just go with the flow, as they say, create and make things that will satisfy you. Oh! But wait, I forgot! Some people do eat 1 cup of pasta and are still able to eat more food. Why do I keep thinking that everyone eats like me?
This dish makes 3 – 4 servings depending on how you fill up the ramekins. It is made with 1 cup of pasta and a lot of cheddar cheese. You can use any types of meat with this dish, but I prefer ham because it always tastes right. So that’s what happened with the Cheddar Baked Macaroni with Ham.
- 1 cup elbow macaroni or any other small pasta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup ham shredded
- 1 tablespoon shallot
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Broil pasta depending on directions listed on packaging. While pasta is boiling, in a saucepan under low heat, melt butter, add flour and stir. While stirring slowly add milk and keep stirring until mixture starts to boil. Add cheese (reserve a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle before baking) and keep stirring until cheese is completely melted. Add ham and shallots. Let cheese mixture cook for about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Drain pasta and place in a bowl. Stir in cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Grease 2 - 4 ramekins. Add pasta, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 375°F for 30 - 35 minutes. Serve hot.