My Mom's "Nudelauflauf" (pasta casserole)



This is a simple but hearty pasta casserole recipe that just tastes delicious: Two layers of pasta and in the middle some peas and ham, an egg-milk mix to hold everything together, and a crusty cheese and bread crumb topping. I loved the soft layers of macaronis covered in the egg mix, and also the crispy top.

Over time I played around with my mother's recipe and sometimes, if I want the casserole a little bit juicier, then I add mushrooms and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of al dente cooked pasta (preferred: straight macaronis or penne)
  • 1 can peas
  • 4 slices black forest ham - cut into dices or stripes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cheese (e.g. pepper jack) - grated 
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Optional: 2 sliced Tomatoes, 1 can sliced Mushrooms, Oregano

Preparation

Cook the pasta al dente and preheat the oven at 395 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius). 

Spray/ butter a casserole dish. Pour half of the pasta into the casserole dish. Add the peas and ham (and optional the mushrooms) and mix it up a little bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you want to add the tomato slices, arrange them on top of the mix and sprinkle with additional salt and oregano. The tomatoes will make it a little juicier. Top of with the another layer of pasta.

Mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Pour over the pasta mix.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the pasta mix, and the bread crumbs on top of the cheese. Cut little pieces out of the butter and distribute over the top. Let bake for 45-60 minutes till the top is golden brown and the milk-egg sauce has settled (check with a toothpick). Check after 30 minutes, if the top is already getting too dark, place some tin foil on top.




Optional: added mushrooms and tomatoes

Another layer of pasta and then the egg-milk mix
Ready for the oven

Et Voila! 





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