When its chilly and gray outside, I’m always tempted to cook up rich, cozy food at every meal. When the rational, health-minded part of my brain kicks in, I reach for recipes like this one. Pasta always satisfies, and tossing it in this silky sweet potato sauce makes a deceptively rich and creamy meal. Add in a bit of chopped kale, and you’ve got yourself a seriously healthy dish, disguised as something much more decadent. And at a time of year when people are still getting sick left and right, its smart to eat immune system boosting foods like sweet potatoes and kale. Make this dish for even the most veggie-adverse eater, and I’m sure even they will be hard pressed to resist it. Its comfort food you can feel good about eating and serving. (Serves 4).
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes, skin on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or low-fat regular milk)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 package linguine (go for whole wheat if you want to be an overachiever)
- 4 cups kale, stalks removed, leaves chopped (substitute spinach if needed)
- 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water, as needed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley, to taste
- Get out your biggest pot and fill it with water, bring it up to a roaring boil, then add a few pinches of salt. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium, and add the shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt, stirring often until softened. Next, add the mashed sweet potatoes and the milk, stirring to combine. Bring this up to a simmer, and allow it to thicken. If you like, you can use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to smooth everything out. This is a good step to add if you’ve got picky eaters.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, adding the kale to the pot during the last two minutes of cooking. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain, and add the pasta and kale back to the pot.
- Pour the sweet potato sauce over the pasta, add the parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes (if using), and a splash of the reserved pasta water, and toss everything together to combine. Add more pasta water as needed to get the thickness you want. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish the plates with a sprinkling of the parsley.
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Recipe inspired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson.