Creamy Spring Pasta Bake

Adding baby sweet peas, fresh or frozen, and ham puts a bit of “Spring” into this pasta dish. You’ll love the crunchy crouton and parmesan cheese topping.

Easter Potluck

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Total time: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes


1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter
1/2 cup (2 oz.) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups whole milk
1 (16-oz.) block Swiss cheese, shredded
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)
1 (16-oz.) pkg. farfalle (bow-tie pasta), prepared according to pkg. directions
1 (12-oz.) pkg. cubed boneless ham (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen baby sweet peas, thawed
1 cup sea salt-and-pepper croutons
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in dry mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Whisk in Swiss cheese and 2 oz. Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, ham, and peas. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

3. Prepare Topping: Process croutons and 2 oz. Parmesan cheese in a food processor until finely ground. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter, and process until combined. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.

4. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

recipe and photo credit from: Southern Living March 2016

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