The classic sandwich/calzone filling of ham, cheese and tomato is also the basis for this simple pasta dish that is a winner with the whole family. Cooked in one pot and equally delicious served hot, warm or cold – it’s a great way to use up all the bits and pieces you have lying around for the kids’s school lunches.
My very unorthodox secret weapon in the fridge is cream cheese. I’m not talking beautiful, fresh creamy ricotta from the deli… No, I’m talking the stuff that lasts forever in the fridge – specifically, the Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges or the Kraft cream cheese spread you buy in jars in the spreads aisle. I know, I’m all class!
But, when you are a busy working mumma and you don’t always have the luxury of being organised when it comes to meals, having a few hacks up your sleeve to make dinner easier is always handy in my opinion. Not only is cream cheese great to have in the fridge for spreading on sandwiches and crackers – it also makes a very quick and easy cheesy stir-through pasta sauce.
This dish is all my favourite things: easy, cooked in one pot, makes good use of what’s left in the fridge, delicious served hot or cold, and a winner with the kids.
For this particular variation, I just cooked up half a box (250g) of farfalle (bow tie/butterfly) pasta and while that was happening, chopped up some leftover sliced ham and a tomato. The al dente pasta was then drained and put back in the same pot (keeping about 1/4 cup of the cooking water). Off the heat, I then carefully stirred through 1 tablespoon of butter and a heaped tablespoon of cream cheese (or 3 of the Laughing Cow wedges) until it melted and coated all the pasta. Finally, I just added the ham, fresh tomato, some basil from the garden and a nice grating of Parmesan cheese. That’s it!
My preference is to eat this dish just a tad warmer than room temperature – like a warm salad. It’s also delicious packed in the lunchbox for the next day. It’s also great with other antipasto leftovers – olives, capers, sundried tomatoes, artichokes etc.
- Pantry: Farfalle pasta (Barilla)
- Fridge: Butter (Lurpak), ham, cream cheese (Laughing Cow wedges or Dairylea spread) tomato, Parmesan cheese (Mil Lel)
- Garden: Basil
Easy-peasy, delicious and done in under 10 minutes!
Mrs. Magic Pantry XO