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Active time20 minutes
Total time50 minutes
12 oz. whole grain einkorn penne or rigatoni
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. ﬂour
1¼ cup warm milk
4-5 fresh sage leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 thin slices of ham, chopped in small squares
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add 1 tbsp. sea salt if desired, and cook the pasta for 12 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a heavy saucepan with fresh sage leaves and let simmer for 3 minutes to ﬂavor the butter. Do not brown the butter. Remove the leaves.
- Stir in ﬂour and whisk energetically, cooking for 2 minutes until the mixture bubbles.
- Add hot milk, a few tablespoons at time, while you whisk and continue to simmer on medium heat. Lower the heat and continue to stir, cooking for a few more minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth.
- Stir the cheese sauce in the pan with the drained, cooked pasta. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Add half of the grated cheese and ham and mix gently. Pour mixture into a greased casserole or individual ramekins and then top with the rest of the grated cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes for large casseroles and 15-20 minutes for individual servings.
Notes: Before baking, you may also freeze portions in oven-proof dishes and bake frozen for a convenient snack or meal; just add ﬁve minutes to the cooking time. You can also stir in steamed green beans, broccoli or peas for a little bit of green, but we feel vegetables go better on the side.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Jovial Foods, Heidi Gordon