Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale

by Erin

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

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

7 comments

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7 comments

Tracey June 25, 2012 - 10:04 am

Sweet potato pasta??! Are you kidding me? That sounds so amazing! I do like the combo of kale and sweet potato but have never had them in this way.

Reply
Colleen, The Smart Cookie Cook June 22, 2012 - 12:09 pm

Hi, Erin! Thank you for stopping by Smart Cookie :) This is my first time on your blog too, and you weren’t kidding; Mr. McChip & the Spiffy Cookie definitely look like they’d be good friends! This is your first time using kale? Oh my! I love kale, not to mention sweet potato, so this dish is seriously making my mouth water!

Reply
Miriam @ Overtime Cook June 22, 2012 - 1:54 am

Um, so I have never tasted kale in my life. (I know, I know, craaazy.) Now I totally want to!

Welcome back!

Reply
Peter @Feed Your Soul June 21, 2012 - 8:36 pm

like the use of the sweet potato and the kale is a really nice accent.

Reply
Emily @ Life on Food June 21, 2012 - 6:19 pm

This is the second sweet potato pasta dish I have seen recently. I think it sounds fabulous. I would really like to try some too.

Reply
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers June 21, 2012 - 5:45 pm

You realize something this good, I would eat the whole thing! No sharing from me. :)

Reply
[email protected] June 21, 2012 - 11:51 am

first time with kale?! hopefully you’ve now fallen in love with it forever! I recommend the same flavor combo (sweet potato and kale) on pizza! we love that!

Reply

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