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Ham & Corn Pasta Bake

Course Dinner
Cuisine Hong Kong
Keyword bechamel, cheese, corn, ham, hong kong style cafe, leftover, pasta
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces long pasta (like fusilli, rotini, gemelli & cavatappi)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion (finely diced)
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup cooked thick-cut ham (about 1/8-inch thick) (cut into 1-inch x ½-inch strips)

Béchamel Sauce (White sauce):

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 thin slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C).
  • Bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with water until cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm up 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and sauté until soften. Add the frozen corn and ham until warmed through.
  • For the sauce, in a medium pot over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in mozzarella and stir until fully incorporated. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked ham mixture. Adjust with seasoning if needed. If the mixture is too thick, thin it out with a bit of the reserved pasta water.
  • Transfer the pasta to an oven safe baking dish, top with the provolone cheese. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Allow the pasta to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. For the ham, you can use the ones from a box (thick cut) or get a few slices from the butcher. Both will work.
  2. Oven step is not a must; you can skip it if you want. The main reason for using the oven is to melt the cheese.