I subscribe to all sorts of cooking websites, ones that send me recipes every single day, and most of the time the recipes they send me look pretty gross and I would never make them, but a couple of months ago the recipe from allrecipes.com was "Ham and Cheese Bowties". I have a humongous weakness for anything pasta and cheese, so I made it, and made it and made it...I've made this so many times, it's cheap, its fast, and it is delicious!! I've adapted it to be exactly how I like it...so here it is!
12 oz bowtie pasta-cooked to al dente and drained, then set aside
1/4 C butter
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 C. flour
2 C. Milk
2 handfuls grated cheese, I use colby jack, or like the "taco blend" or just anything I have in my fridge (you could be technical and use 2 cups, but I like a little less)
4-8 oz cooked chopped ham (you can either cut it into little cubes, or into strips, that's what I like! also, I like more meat, some people might like less, it's up to you!)
*This is the ham I get...it's cheap and precooked, it's great!
-Melt butter in skillet (or if you are lazy and resourceful like me, melt it in the same pan you cooked the pasta in), don't get it too hot, just over medium heat
-saute garlic in butter until fragrant, keep the heat on medium, maybe even a little lower, don't burn!
-add flour and whisk it all together...it should look like this...you will know if you've burned it...you don't want to do that
-pour milk into mixture in a thin stream, whisking as your pour
-turn up the heat to a 1 or 2 notches above medium, and heat the milk mixture to boiling, and boil for one minute...it will thicken up, looking like this
-remove from heat, and add cheese and stir until melted, salt and pepper a little
-add the bowtie pasta and cut ham and mix together
-pour into casserole dish, sprinkle a little more cheese on top, and cook for 20-25 minutes
-This is my hot husband posing as Bree Vandecamp (props if you know who that is)