A nice black forest ham was all that looked like a good deal at Safeway. I already had broccoli thanks to Save-On having it for $1.29/lb and cheese from the last sale. I hadn't thought about a starch till I got home and started preparing things. I'll use rotini pasta so it won't seem like macaroni and cheese. Eventually I figured out I was making my first casserole. I think when I decided the casserole dish would be perfect!
I diced an onion and a stick of celery. I cut up a crown of broccoli and enough ham to feed two hungry men and two little doggies. One and three quarter cups rotini pasta cooked for half or a bit more of it's time. It will absorb some of the cheese sauce as it finishes cooking. In a large pan I sweated the onions and celery, then added the cubed ham. I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour over all and added a tablespoon of butter and cooked that in. First an ounce of chicken stock, then a cup of milk, let it heat up. Add a cup and a half of grated cheddar. When the cheese is melted add the drained half cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the broccoli and toss. Pour into the casserole dish and top with grated parmesan and bread crumbs if you have them. If you use bread crumbs, spray a little oil over them so they brown. Put in a 350ºF oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
The vinaigrette for the salad is 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, dot of dijon mustard. Whisk and toss the salad in it.
It was quite wonderful for my first casserole. Having a salad every night is helping too.