One word - amazing! We loved this pasta. It reminded me of one of my favorite dishes, Smoky Chicken Pasta, but with a slight sweetness from the brown sugar ham. YUM! This only took me a few minutes to throw together because I cooked my chicken ahead of time in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (only takes 8 minutes in the microwave!). I halved the recipe and it was enough for at least three people. We both had to make ourselves stop eating this! The pasta heats up well the next day, so it didnt' go to waste. This is going into the rotation - it's a keeper!
Creamy Chicken & Ham Pasta
adapted from get off your butt and bake
1 1/2 cups of cooked diced chicken
1 cup of diced ham
1 cup of crumbled cooked turkey bacon (for the top)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese and additional for the top
16oz thin spaghetti
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half & half
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp basil
a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
Fry bacon until crispy, place on paper towels and set aside. Fry pieces of ham in a small amount of the bacon grease. Sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the ham, and toss until the ham is golden and the brown sugar has caramelized. Remove from pan.
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour, seasonings, sugar and whisk together with the butter until bubbly. Continue whisking, and slowly add the milk, half & half and the chicken broth. Whisk constantly, so that you don’t get any lumps. You want your sauce to be nice and smooth. Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened. Turn heat to low, and add the grated cheddar and parmesan cheese. Once melted and mixed thorougly, turn your heat to the lowest temperature, add chicken and ham; cover. Prepare your pasta until al dente. Drain well.
Plate the pasta, and serve the sauce over the top. Crumble your bacon on top of the sauce, and also top with more grated parmesan cheese.