CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ham Tetrazzini

There’s more to leftover baked ham than sandwiches, bean soup and egg bakes. That’s not to say those aren’t great choices for the tasty remains of your Easter dinner’s main course.

I know, those are three of my favorite things to make when we have leftover ham. Another is boiled dinner, which also contains potato, rutabaga, carrots, cabbage and a little onion and celery. (That’s how I plan to use a the meaty ham bone for one day this week.)

But with an 8-pound ham and just five people for dinner on Sunday, we have quite a bit of ham left over.  So, that got me to thinking what I could do with the rest of the ham besides freezing some of it. You can only eat so many ham sandwiches.

Just like leftover chicken and turkey, ham is an excellent choice to use in a pasta casserole or hotdish. And if you have kids, little time and a big chunk of ham taking up space in the refrigerator, it’s an even better option.

Here’s a recipe for a ham and pasta dish that’s sure to be a hit. If your crew likes creamy hotdishes or casseroles, this is for you.

Ham Tetrazzini
6 ounces spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup onion, diced
1 10¾-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup water
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups diced ham
1 cup froze peas
2 tablespoons pimento, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (optional)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package instructions; drain.
While pasta is cooking, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in soup, water and shredded cheese. Heat mixture until cheese melts, stirring often.
Mix in ham, cooked and drained pasta, pimento and parsley. Stir to combine. Cook until mixture is heated through. Serve.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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