I love a nice bone-in ham for Easter dinner, but we always have a lot left over. Of course there are ham sandwiches, and omelets with ham and cheese, but when you tire of those it’s nice to have another option or two. I found this Ham & Veggie Pasta with Swiss and it was a perfect, easy way to use up some ham and make a great meal.
As I started to make this recipe, I thought to myself, “Where’s the sauce?” Can the one tablespoon of butter used to sauté the veggies be enough for this dish? Indeed!
Start your preparation by cooking the farfalle, also known as bowtie pasta, according to the directions on the package. This fun shape always gets smiles from the kids. Drain the pasta, then rinse it with hot water and set it aside.
I love that this recipe has lots of fresh veggies – four cups altogether which means a full cup per person. After the big Easter feast, with all the rolls and ham and turkey and pie, some nice sautéed veggies sound really good! I like to start by getting all my veggies out and washing them before I begin.
Now, slice the zucchini into 1/8” rounds. My zucchini was rather large so I cut the rounds in half. I only needed about half the zucchini.
Next, core the red pepper and slice it lengthwise. Then cut the strips in half. Very simple.
The onions are next. Slice them into thin rounds – about 1/8” thick. I cut my rounds in half, but you could just leave them whole if you like.
Finally, the mushrooms. Simply slice them about 1/8” thick until you have 1 cup. I used about 5 mushrooms. The veggies are all ready! I just layered them into a 4-cup measuring cup as I cut, making sure I had a generous cup of each and at least four cups ready to cook.
This comes together quickly once you start cooking, so I like to get the other ingredients prepped before I start. Makes me feel like a master chef when everything is chopped and ready. All that is left to chop or cut is the basil, ham and cheese. Begin by tearing off any big stems from the basil.
Then gather all the basil up into a roll – or just hold it all in a tight bunch – and slice the “roll” thinly.
If you like, give the slices a few cross chops and the basil’s ready to go.
Next, cube a nice thick slice of ham. Use leftovers if you have them, but you can also buy ham in single thick slices which works well, too.
I used a little more than one cup since I needed to use it up! Last prepping step is to cut the deli cheese slices. I used provolone, the alternate option on the recipe, because my kids prefer the flavor over Swiss cheese.
Ready to cook! This is the single tablespoon of butter that, along with salt and pepper and basil, is all you need to make a sauce for this delicious dish. You might be as surprised as I was at how good this is …
Turn the stove to medium, and, when the butter is sizzling, add the four cups veggies.
After a couple minutes the veggies start to soften and smell delicious …
… and after 4-6 minutes they are crisp-cooked and some may even be a little browned. Cook them how you like them, more or less crisp or soft.
You can see how they’ve made their own simple sauce. Now add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Toss in the basil, pasta, ham, and salt and pepper.
My pan got pretty full. In fact, if you are going to be generous with the veggies and/or the ham, you may want to use a 12” pan instead of the 10” pan recommended in the recipe! Stir all this together and cook a few more minutes to warm everything up. Then, lay the cheese slices across the top and let them just melt onto the dish.
I moved the pan right to the table – using a cork pad to protect the table from the heat – and let the cheese melt while everyone gathered for dinner.
As you serve this up, the cheese just melts away and adds a hint of creaminess to the dish.
As I mentioned, I really couldn’t believe that such a simple combination of ingredients could produce such a tasty meal. The kids announced that they wanted to have this again and again, not just after Easter, when we have leftover ham. It’s certainly easy enough that I can make it midweek, and I love that it’s loaded with veggies. Try Ham & Veggie Pasta with Swiss and let me know what you think. Or send some other ideas for using leftover ham. We’d love to hear your comments and ideas!
Check back in a few days when Amanda bakes up some decadent chocolate truffle treats. Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz®Blog.