Quick to make and full of rich flavors, this pasta casserole makes a satisfying midweek meal or an informal dinner-party dish.
Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|1 lb (450 g) elbow macaroni or other tube-shaped pasta||3 tbsp dry white wine or chicken broth|
|1 tbsp olive oil||2 tsp dried oregano|
|1 red onion, thinly sliced||salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|1 garlic clove, crushed||1 cup fresh bread crumbs|
|1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced||3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan|
|one 14.5 oz (411 g) can chopped tomatoes||2 tbsp butter, melted|
|9 oz (250 g) smoked ham, diced|
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions, until barely tender. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
Add the tomatoes, ham, wine or broth, and oregano and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2–3 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the macaroni and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a 2 quart (2 liter) baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture on top of macaroni.
Place dish on a baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.
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