Alfredo Penne With Ham Asparagus And Corn - I really think I come up with some of our favorite meals when I'm forced to become creative and think outside of the box. You know what I mean, using up those bits and pieces of ingredients that aren't that spectacular on their own, but, they have hidden potential. My goal is always to prepare a dish that appeals to my family and keeps my budget on target. Looking around in my fridge recently, I noted several ingredients that needed to be used. I remembered a pasta salad I'd had not too long ago, that featured penne pasta, asparagus and sweet corn. At the time, it seemed like an unlikely pairing of ingredients, but the sweet corn provided a perfect balance to the robust flavor of the asparagus. That salad inspired this casserole.
Alfredo Penne With Ham Asparagus And Corn
- For the casserole you'll need:
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- salt & black pepper
- 2 Tbsp light margarine or butter
- ½ lb penne pasta
- 2 [15 oz] jars prepared Alfredo sauce [I used Classico Light Asiago-Romano]
- 2 cups diced smoked ham
- 2 cups shredded provolone cheese
- 1 cup Mexican corn
- ½ lb steamed asparagus or 1 ½ cups steamed broccoli florets
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 Tbsp prepared basil pesto
- Crumb topping: [shortcut: Crushed Italian seasoned crackers tossed with 1-2 Tbsp butter]
- 2 slices bread
- 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley
- 2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 Tbsp butter melted
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- Option #2 substitute 1 pound cooked and crumbled ground beef or Italian sausage
- Option # 3 substitute 2 cups chopped roasted chicken
- Option #4 leave out the meat preparing as directed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- On the stove top saute the sliced green onions and garlic with 2 Tbsp of butter for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste. Remove from the stove. Slice the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
- Cook the penne pasta in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well. Add to a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients reserving ½ cup of shredded provolone for the top.
- Stir well, then pour into the prepared baking dish.
- To make the breadcrumbs, pulse two slices of bread in a food processor. Add the parsley, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. [Alternative crumb topping, 1 cup Italian flavored crackers crushed and tossed with 1 Tbsp of melted butter.]
- Toss the crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the filling.
- Bake for 35 minutes until bubbly and the topping is golden.
- Serve immediately.