This recipe for my Easy Creamy Pasta Primavera with Deli Ham can be ready in the time it takes you to boil the water for the pasta and cook it! Everything else you prepare for the recipe will be ready and waiting for you to toss it all together. This is great 30 minute meal on busy days.
I have to admit, because I call it "Easy" I didn't make the cheese sauce from scratch. Nope! I purchased a reputable, ready-made cheese sauce in a jar which I believe in for quick fix dinner.
I also have another recipe for Grilled Chicken Pasta Primavera (on the lighter side, link below) that is just awesome if you don't want to indulge on the creamy side. Sometimes it's just nice to splurge! :)
I used 2 types of pasta in this recipe - mezza rigatoni (the short version) and shells (conchiglie.) I really loved how the sauce and the pieces of ham slid into the nooks and crannies of the pasta when tossed together. Whatever recipe you choose to make, Pasta Primavera is delicious both ways. Enjoy!
TIP: Defrost the frozen veggies in the refrigerator overnight in the package or on the counter for about 1 hour.
1 1lb. mezza rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1/2 lb. shell pasta (conchiglie), uncooked
1 1lb. bag of frozen mixed veggies
(cauliflower, broccoli & carrots)
1 lb. deli ham sliced 1" thick and diced
(I used Boars Head Deluxe ham)
2 jars of Bertolli Alfredo sauce
Salt and ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a lid on the pan and the water will boil so much faster. Then, add a palm full of kosher salt and bring the water back to a boil. Add both pastas, stirring for a couple of minutes so that the ingredients don't stick together. Cook as directed on the package to al dente (firm to the bite.)
2. While you are bringing the water to a boil and cooking the pasta, you can prepare the sauce, veggies and ham. In a saucepan, place the Alfredo sauce, defrosted veggies, the ham and red pepper flakes (if using.) Heat on medium low, stirring occasionally making sure that the sauce doesn't spatter. If it does, add small amounts of water and stir. This will just make the sauce a little more manageable. You can regulate the thickness of the sauce by adding as much water as you want, if you require the sauce to be thinner - that is up to you! After 4 minutes or so, turn off the heat.
3. The pasta should be ready by now. Drain and add the pasta back into the same pan or into a big serving bowl. Add the veggie Alfredo sauce to the pasta and toss thoroughly and serve family style on the table if you wish.
Note: Ciabbata bread rubbed with a raw garlic clove and sprinkled with parmesan cheese and toasted in the oven at 350 degrees F. for approximately 15 minutes, is awesome with this dish.