Ham and Asparagus Casserole

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1 slice white bread
3 3/4 cups uncooked egg noodles
2 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch) sliced asparagus
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (1/2 inch cubes) mild flavored ham
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°

Bread crumbs—place slice of bread in food processor and pulse until coarse

Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus; cook one minute. Drain.

Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place flour, thyme, salt, and pepper in medium bowl; gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until well-blended.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, sauté 4 minutes. Add milk mixture, cook until thick (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in juice.

Combine the pasta mixture, milk mixture, ham, and parsley in large bowl; spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden. Yields: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

From Cooking Light Magazine
MoooNews May 2002