What am I doing now that I’ve returned from fabulous Europe? Back to the grind with my research. And completely confused how it’s already almost the end of June. And completely sick with some sort of head cold. Who gets sick mid-summer? Someone who just took a 9 hour flight plus two other 1.5 hour flights back to the US apparently. But since I’m on a streak here this week on reminiscing recent travels, let’s journey back to my trip to Boston a month ago with the meal I prepared for my family one night.
This was my first adventure into kale, both in eating and cooking. In the end I had to keep batting my family’s hands away from the cooked kale to make sure there was some left to be served with the meal! Who knew kale could be such a hit by itself? And it made for a great mixture when added to the creamy sweet potato sauce.
The recipe says this pasta serves 2-4. I would take that to mean 2 if served by itself, 4 if served as a side or along with something else. For eight people I doubled the recipe that is shown below and served it with breaded chicken pieces. There’s no way it would’ve filled up 8 bellies without something extra. And there was just a little bit leftover even after a few went back for seconds, so overall it was the perfect amount.
One year ago: Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches
SWEET POTATO CREAM PASTA WITH CRISPY KALE
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese + 2 Tbsp, plus more for garnish
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (preferably noodles)
1 head of kale, leaves torn from stems
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add kale, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat with your hands and massage kale for 1-2 minutes, until flavors are distributed. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, tossing 1-2 times while cooking, until crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.
- While kale is cooking, heat olive oil and butter oven medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium and add in flour, whisking constantly to create somewhat of a roux. Once the roux has turned golden, add in mashed sweet potato and milk, whisking to combine (it’s okay if a few small bits of potato remain). Let the mixture come to a simmer in order for it to thicken a bit – it thickens quickly. If it becomes too thick, simply add a little milk to thin it out. Reduce heat to low and stir in Romano, remaining salt and pepper.
- Once pasta is finished cooking, add noodles directly into the sweet potato sauce. Let sit for a few minutes, then transfer everything to a large bowl. Top with crispy kale and toss to distribute. Serve with additional Romano on top.
Source: How Sweet It Is