Macaroni Bake with Ham and Peppers

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.

Macaroni Bake with Ham and Peppers

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    Ingredients

    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

    directions

    Prep: 20 min Total: 45 min
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    • 1

      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.

    • 2

      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.

    • 3

      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.

    • 4

      In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture on top of macaroni.

    • 5

      Place dish on a baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.

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