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Asparagus-and-Ham Casserole

Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

Yield

6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

This speedy Asparagus-and-Ham Casserole is pure comfort food and needs only 10 minutes to bake. That's because most of the prep work (cooking pasta and making a light cream sauce) is done on the stovetop. Simply bake to brown the breadcrumbs and make the filling bubbly. Because of the delicate flavors in this dish, we preferred using a mild baked ham to a smoked one.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 3 3/4 cups uncooked extra-broad egg noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch) sliced asparagus
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed ham (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 250
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • fat 7.1 g
  • satfat 3.4 g
  • monofat 2.4 g
  • polyfat 0.7 g
  • protein 16 g
  • carbohydrate 30.9 g
  • fiber 2.7 g
  • cholesterol 52 mg
  • iron 2.6 mg
  • sodium 835 mg
  • calcium 114 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.

  2. Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1/2 cup.

  3. Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus; cook 1 minute. Drain.

  4. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place flour, thyme, salt, and pepper in medium bowl; gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion; saute 4 minutes. Add milk mixture; cook until thick (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in juice. Combine the pasta mixture, milk mixture, ham, and parsley in large bowl; spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.

  5. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.