Here is a pasta that is grown up enough for Mom and Dad, but made with simple ingredients that kids love too. And it is even somewhat healthy....now you don't have an excuse to pass it up!
Rotini With Chicken & Ham Cream Sauce
12 oz. Rotini (Ronzoni Smart Taste is a great brand for fiber)
8 oz. cooked, shredded chicken*
8 oz. diced ham
salt & pepper
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. reduced-fat milk
2 1/2 c. shredded cheese (triple cheese variety)
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 T. butter or margarine
shredded Parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of water with a pinch of kosher salt to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet on med-high heat. Saute garlic and onions and add a bit of salt and pepper. Add cream cheese and milk and stir (using back of spoon to break down cream cheese) until smooth. Add shredded cheese and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Remove from heat. It will be a bit runny and that is ok.
In a small skillet, melt margarine and add bread crumbs. Heat until golden, stirring frequently. When brown, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Do not keep it in the pan or it will continue to cook and burn.
Drain pasta and add to pan with cheese sauce. Add diced ham and shredded chicken. Stir to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top each serving with 1 T. bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese.
* I cook several chicken breasts at once, shred them, and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator to add to pasta or soups. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, that would be amazing too.