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May 16th, 2011, 12:52 PM
Ham and Pasta with Mushroom-Cheese Sauce

6 ounces packaged dried spinach and/or plain linguine
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1-1/4 cups milk
6 ounces sliced fully cooked ham, cut into bite-size strips
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan cook pasta and carrots in a large amount of boiling salted water for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli flowerets. Return to boiling and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until pasta is tender but slightly firm and vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, cook mushrooms in margarine or butter until tender. Stir in flour, parsley, and basil. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add ham and cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables; toss to coat. Makes 4 main-dish servings.