- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound ditalini or conchiglie pasta
- 8 ounces Westphalian or Black Forest ham, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top 1/4 inch off head of garlic to expose cloves. Place garlic, cut side up, on sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap garlic with foil to enclose tightly. Bake until skin is golden brown and cloves are tender, about 55 minutes. Cool. Squeeze cloves from skin.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, thyme, lemon peel, and roasted garlic. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to 2 3/4 cups, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Gradually stir in cheeses.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Toss cheese sauce, pasta, ham, and parsley in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.