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Active time
20 minutes
Total time
50 minutes
4 servings

12 oz. whole grain einkorn penne or rigatoni

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

1¼ cup warm milk

4-5 fresh sage leaves (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

4-5 thin slices of ham, chopped in small squares

½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add 1 tbsp. sea salt if desired, and cook the pasta for 12 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a heavy saucepan with fresh sage leaves and let simmer for 3 minutes to flavor the butter. Do not brown the butter. Remove the leaves.
  4. Stir in flour and whisk energetically, cooking for 2 minutes until the mixture bubbles.
  5. Add hot milk, a few tablespoons at time, while you whisk and continue to simmer on medium heat. Lower the heat and continue to stir, cooking for a few more minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  6. Stir the cheese sauce in the pan with the drained, cooked pasta. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  7. Add half of the grated cheese and ham and mix gently. Pour mixture into a greased casserole or individual ramekins and then top with the rest of the grated cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes for large casseroles and 15-20 minutes for individual servings.

Notes:  Before baking, you may also freeze portions in oven-proof dishes and bake frozen for a convenient snack or meal; just add five minutes to the cooking time. You can also stir in steamed green beans, broccoli or peas for a little bit of green, but we feel vegetables go better on the side.


Recipe and photo courtesy of Jovial Foods, Heidi Gordon


Calories: 510
Total Fat: 15 g
(Saturated Fat: 8 g)
Sodium: 440 mg
Carbohydrate: 72 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 24 g.

Yield: 4 servings

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