Broccoli and Ham Pasta Bake

Hello dear readers,

January was all about detoxing and trying to lose a few pounds I gained over Christmas. So I try to watch what I’m eating but not in a manic way. Even if I watch calories, I still want to eat some nice stuff and sometimes I grave pasta in a creamy sauce with some golden cheese on top. So today I’m going to present you a yummy pasta dish which is compatible with a healthy diet. I’m going to use parmesan cheese on top which is lower in fat than other cheeses so please don’t feel too guilty afterwards!

All you need for 4 persons:

  • 500g Penne pasta
  • 1 Broccoli, chopped and cut into florets
  • 1 small red onion finely cut
  • 200g good quality cooked ham, cut in bite sized bits
  • 1 package of good quality low fat cream cheese with herbs and garlic
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or any other Italian hard cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Milk
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • Salt, pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions, drain and put aside. Boil the broccoli in lightly salted water for 6 minutes (I like mine still with a little bite), drain and put aside.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a small sauce pan and fry onions until they get some colour. Add the ham and fry together for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and slowly add the cream cheese and carefully melt it. Once the whole cream chesse is melted, add some milk until the mixture is nice and creamy. Now season with salt, pepper and fresh chopped parsley. Stir the sauce well.

Take an ovenproof dish and mix the pasta together with the broccoli, add some salt and pepper. Now pour over the cream cheese sauce, stir well and season again if necessary. Lastly, add your parmesan cheese on top. Cook in the oven for ca. 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce starts to bubble. Serve with some lambs’ lettuce salad and enjoy! This dish goes very well with a light white wine.

Tip: This cream cheese sauce just tastes as good poured over any other kind of pasta. I usually cook it when I want a low fat yet creamy pasta sauce. Try it poured over some spaghetti.

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