While I was growing up, my family stretched the food budget by cooking a lot of casseroles. It is a great family meal and is a rib-sticker during the winter months. I have used this dish for church potlucks and it is a hit. I am sure you will add this to your recipe lists.
3 cups (8 ounces) uncooked rotini pasta
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of all-purpose floor
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup of cubed cooked ham
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 1 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish.
2. Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and return to saucepan.
3. Melt butter over medium-low heat in 2-quart saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt, mustard and pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese in batches; stir until melted.
4. Add cheese mixture and ham to pasta; stir until well blended. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Arrange tomato slices on top of the casserole. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and tomato slices are hot.
This will serve 4. You can add a few things to change things up a bit. You can add canned peas to the casserole when you are mixing cheese mixture and ham to the pasta or add breadcrumbs to the top when you place the tomato slices. Also, instead of ham, you can use crispy, crumbled bacon (8 ounces by weight).
If my family and church loves this dish, I am sure yours will, too.