This is a full-on pasta dish with ham, mushrooms, spinach, and a Parmesan cheese sauce. Serve with fresh ground pepper.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
20 mins
35 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt into a pot of water; bring to a boil. Stir penne pasta into the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir ham and mushrooms in hot butter until the mushrooms are softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Stir flour, remaining salt, and bay leaf into the ham mixture; cook and stir until flour begins to bind butter into a paste, about 2 minutes. Stream milk into the skillet while stirring. Melt Parmesan cheese into the milk mixture; add basil and continue cooking and stirring until the milk thickens into a sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Remove skillet from heat and immediately stir spinach into the sauce; add to drained pasta and stir to coat the pasta.

Cook's Notes:

You can use 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil in place of the dried, if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

608 calories; protein 27.8g 56% DV; carbohydrates 57g 18% DV; fat 30.9g 48% DV; cholesterol 84.1mg 28% DV; sodium 1351.6mg 54% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (8)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
Added onions and garlic as per other reviewer suggestions. Also used fresh spinach and wilted it with more garlic. Read More
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Added onions and garlic as per other reviewer suggestions. Also used fresh spinach and wilted it with more garlic. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was wonderful. I wanted to use leftover Easter ham & didn't want to make a casserole. I didn't have mushrooms, so I followed the advise of other reviews & added onion & garlic. The sauce was really thick so I put in extra milk. That didn't work so I put in chicken broth. Also, the ham sort of got in the way of stirring so I took most of it out of the pan. It was absolutely delicious. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent! As usual I can't just follow a recipe - I tweaked it a bit. I added a thinly sliced small onion and some minced garlic from reading the reviews. Made this with fresh spinach just wilted it down and chopped it also added at the end a diced tomato for a bit more color. 1% milk worked just fine. And I agree - fresh basil would have been good- Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very easy recipe. Creamy and cheesy. Great way to use up ham. I used skim milk so I don't think it was as 'high fat' as a person might think. I used ground bay leaf seasoning rather than the bay leaf but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. When basil is fresh and on hand it would be a great addition. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Didn't add the spinach or bay leaf and came out great. Next time I'd add peas or broccoli for some veggies. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very tasty with a few tweaks. I followed the recipe for the most part but added thinly sliced onions with the mushrooms. I also used fresh spinach which I added to the mushrooms and onions to wilt just before adding the flour and milk. I did not add extra salt to the dish but did add some black pepper. My husband and I both liked this and will probably make again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was good and came together easily. It's very rich so I think I'd prefer it as a side dish. I added some diced onion to the butter/ham/mushrooms and enjoyed the added texture/flavor (I'd add some minced garlic too if I made it again). The recipe doesn't mention removing the bay leaf before serving but be sure you do. THANKS for the recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My family went bonkers over this. I did add onion and garlic because I love them. I did have to add some broth but that was probably because I was increasing the recipe and probably messed up the amounts. Lol. A big thumbs up from my family and we will be making this again. Read More