4 cups 2% milk
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup frozen peas
1 ½ cups diced ham
1 cup diced provolone cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat milk in a medium saucepan until small bubbles form around the edges.
- In a larger saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Add flour and stir well; continue to cook, stirring, until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly begin adding hot milk to the large saucepan, whisking constantly while adding. Sauce will start out lumpy and become smooth as milk is incorporated.
- Stir in freshly ground pepper.
- Turn heat up to medium and bring sauce to a simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pasta.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish.(I used a 9×13 dish)
- In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with the sauce. Stir in peas, ham, provolone and ¾ cup of the grated Parmesan.
- Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes.
- Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges and the center is hot (about 10 minutes more).
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
I cannot get over that cheesy goodness! It’s not exaggerated. At all.