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Potato and Ham Pasta Bake

You will need:

  • 300g penne
  • 100g sliced kale
  • 40g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 250g leg ham, fat removed, torn into small pieces
  • 160g roast potatoes, chopped
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20g Parmesan, grated

For the cheese sauce

  • 40g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 600ml milk 
  • 120g reduced-fat Cheddar or Tasty cheese, grated 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

First, make the cheese sauce: melt the butter in a pan, sprinkle over the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 min, stirring. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously, until smooth. Bring to a bubble and cook for 2-3 mins until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, add the cheese and mustard, season and stir well.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 9 mins in a large pan of boiling water, adding the kale for the last 2-3 mins. Drain well and return to the pan. Mix the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs; set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced).

3 Add the cheese sauce to the pasta along with the chopped ham, and potatoes. Mix to coat everything well, then spoon into a 2L ovenproof dish. Top with the cheesy breadcrumbs and dot over the tomatoes (cut-side up).

Bake for 20-25 mins until piping hot with a crisp topping. Remove from the oven and let stand for a couple of mins, then serve with a green salad, if you like.