Baked Sweet Potato Pasta

I’m sure it’s stating the obvious, but I need to admit that I am a bit peculiar if for no reason other than this: I really don’t like pasta sauces.

I love carbs, so you’d think I’d (literally) gobble up an excuse to eat bowls of pasta. I’ve just never been a big fan. In fact, during pre-race crabo-loading spaghetti dinners, I usually got a little pasta with a spoonful of red sauce. The rest of my meal was rounded out by breadsticks and cookies.

Very healthy meals, basically.

Since high school, I have learned that there is a whole big world beyond red or Alfredo sauces. Now, I love making pasta dishes, rich with vegetables and richer with flavors — and there’s a new favorite in this house.

Baked Sweet Potato Pasta

Adapted from Every Food Fits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (13.25 oz.) whole-grain pasta
  • 1 T buttery spread
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Olive oil, as necessary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella

Directions:

  • Scrub and clean potatoes. Pierce all over with fork. Wrap each potato in paper towels. Microwave for five minutes, flip potatoes and microwave for another five minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Cook pasta according to box directions. Drain and toss with butter.
  • Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Add a bit of olive oil and the diced onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent, adding more olive oil, if necessary. Add garlic and saute for one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cut the cooled sweet potatoes in half. Carefully peel away and dispose of skin.
  • In a food processor, combine sweet potatoes, ~1/2 T olive oil, dashes of salt and pepper. Blend until mixture is smooth.
  • Toss the sweet potato mixture with the onions and the pasta and pour into a large casserole dish. Top with cheese.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Loved the way this turned out — so creamy and rich-tasting. The two whole sweet potatoes + whole-grain pasta makes the dish quite nutritious, too.

If only parents had served this during my high school spaghetti feeds, I might have actually been a good cross-country runner…

Questions: What’s your favorite kind of pasta sauce? Do you have any weird food aversions?

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