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Chicken & Ham Bechamel Pasta

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz reduced fat pasta spirals
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4-5 big slices leftover ham or thick sliced deli ham
  • 4 oz smoked Gouda cheese grated
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 T flour
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 oz freshly grated or shaved Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Put broth in a deep sauce pan and add chicken. Bring to boil, cover and turn off the heat after 2 minutes. Do not move pan, but let chicken poach slowly as the heat dies down.
  • Meanwhile sear the ham in it’s own fat on medium high, until it begins to caramelize and brown. Remove to cutting board and chop.
  • Put pasta on to boil while you make the Bechamel sauce.
  • To make the Bechamel sauce, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan you used for the ham and saute garlic 1 minute. Add flour to pan and another drizzle of olive oil, and stir flour into oil forming a roux.
  • Take 1 cup of chicken broth from the saucepan where chicken is poaching, and stir it into the roux. Add milk. Stir stir stir, using a wire whisk to break up any flour lumps.
  • Add 1 additional cup of broth, and then Parmesan cheese and set aside. Drain pasta and add to pan of Bechamel sauce.
  • Remove chicken from remaining broth and shred or chop.
  • Place 1/2 of pasta in the bottom of a greased 8 x 8 inch casserole.
  • Top with ham, chicken, and 1/2 the smoked Gouda.
  • Use your fingers to make a layer of ricotta, dropping it in pinches over the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining pasta and sprinkle with the rest of the smoked Gouda. Cover and refrigerate until baking.
  • Bake at 325 until heated through and bubbling. Serves 4-6
Keyword bechamel sauce, chicken and ham pasta, chicken casserole