This Ham and Cheddar Ziti is a ramped up version of your favorite Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe! Ziti noodles smothered in a homemade cheese sauce and chopped, smoked ham - SO good!
I know it's usually the thing with men that they usually like "meat & potatoes." And as I sit here thinking - my dad, grandfather, and father-in-law definitely fall into that category of "manly meat & potatoes" men. A big hunk of beef, with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, no veggies required, I'm sure that's right up their alley.
Now maybe it's a generational thing, but my husband definitely prefers pretty much everything else over plain "meat and potatoes." I'm really glad, too - I don't really go for roasts and that sort of thing either! His favorite meals usually revolve around hot, spicy sauces, and cheese. And when I say cheese, I mean the man LOVES cheese! Needless to say, Mexican foods are one of our favorite flavors around here.
While I'm not big on spicy sauces, I definitely share his love for all things cheesy! And so I give you Ham & Cheese Baked Ziti a.k.a. MAN MAC & CHEESE. You won't find many shortcuts in this recipe, but it's not hard at all and it is WELL worth it! And I'm sure the man in your life will go crazy for it.
Ham & Cheese Ziti
16 oz ziti pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups (16 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
9 oz smoked deli ham, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium and whisk in flour. Continue whisking until mixture is bubbling and no longer clumpy. Whisk in milk and heat to boiling for about one minute. Stir in Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese, keep stirring until cheese is completely melted. Pour over cooked ziti noodles, add chopped ham, and stir until pasta and ham is evenly coated. Pour ziti into a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.
Ok, so this is definitely one of those dinners that you'll have a fork in the baking pan taking bites as you're loading the dishwasher. Don't even pretend you don't do this. Seriously. :)