Creamy Pasta Shells with Broccoli and Ham

This recipe comes from All You magazine and all I can say is, YUM!

1 pound small pasta shells, penne or bow ties

4 cups small broccoli florets (from about 1 medium head of broccoli)

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 oz cooked ham, chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed (for a lower calorie version, use evaporated milk in place of the heavy cream)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

optional add ins – shredded carrots and diced red bell pepper (add to recipe with onion)

1  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 – 10 minutes.  Add broccoli for last 2 – 3 minutes of cooking time.  Drain and return to pot.

2  While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add ham and cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer.  Stir in cream, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

3  Scrape cream mixture into pot with pasta and broccoli.  Add cheese and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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