Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Family Favorite Meal

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I'm playing in another round of the Game On Challenge this month.  As part of the challenge, we get to select one day off of the diet.  Sometimes is frightens me how much planning I put into my day off.  I tend to cook like a fiend on that day, because I can take tastes!  For my day off last week, I made one of my family's favorite meals that is decidedly not diet friendly, but it is easy.

We call this pasta dish Hay and Straw.
My friend Nicole introduced our family to Hay and Straw.  She came to take care of my children for a week during one of Lily's long hospitalizations.  My children loved this dish, and begged for it for months afterward.  At the time, it was so unusual for all of them to like any one food at the same time, that I was happy to oblige.  It continues to be a family favorite.

Hay and Straw

1 package (16 oz.) pasta, uncooked (farfalle, penne, linguine, and spagetti all work well)
water to cook pasta
2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed or julienned
2 cups cooked green peas
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash pepper
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute ham in butter for 3-5 minutes or until ham is very lightly browned, adding garlic powder and pepper.  Add peas; heat through.  

Drain pasta, and return to cooking pot.  Immediately toss with ham and pea mixture.  Pour cream over pasta and add Parmesan cheese.  Stir to coat, until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately, topped with more Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 8.  Cost per serving is approximately $1.25.  This is a terrific way to use up holiday leftovers.  I've also been able to successfully cook this on a campstove.  

What's one of your family's favorite easy, inexpensive meals?

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  1. This is one of my favorites, as well! This was a good reminder to put it on the menu rotation!

  2. Uh....YUMMY!!! Can't wait to try this one!!