CSA | Pasta with Sweet Potato Sauce and Crispy Kale
It hardly seems possible, but our CSA season has come to a close. We picked up our last box this past Saturday and it was full to the brim with yummy veggies to celebrate fall: broccoli, beets, radishes, potatoes, leeks, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Oh, the sweet potatoes! This tropical plant went wild in the heat of this summer's drought. Our farmer told us that they grew 25,000 pounds of sweet potatoes on half an acre (yay for organic farming!). Needless to say, sweet potato is finding its way into almost every dish that we make and even then I'm putting quarts and quarts of it away in the freezer. Sweet potato fries. Sweet potato pizza dough. But the winner for the week was sweet potato pasta. This recipe is really just a basic creamy pasta sauce, but it uses mashed sweet potatoes instead of tomatoes. The result is a hearty, slightly sweet, and delicious meal. It's reminiscent of a homemade mac and cheese and the crispy kale on top gives it a little bit of crunch and textural variety.
Pasta with Sweet Potato Sauce and Crispy Kale
For the kale
3 large kale leaves, washed and stem removed
1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
For the sauce
2 C. sweet potato, cooked and mashed
2 TBS. butter
1 TBS. coconut oil
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 TBS. flour
1 1/2 C. whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3/4 lb. farfalle pasta
a few cracks of freshly ground pepper and extra Parmesan, to top
1. First, prepare the kale. Put the leaves into a bowl, drizzle on the oil, and sprinkle with salt. Mix with your hands until each leaf is coated with oil. Then, spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet.
2. Heat the oven to 350. Bake the kale for 3 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until crispy. Check it early and often to make sure that it doesn't burn.
3. While the kale is baking, start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on package. You'll want it to have a bit of tooth still, so that you don't have a mushy mess when you mix it with the sauce. Drain.
4. In a large pan with high sides, heat the butter and coconut oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
5. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking the entire time, and cook until thickened and slightly golden.
6. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes. Add in the Parmesan and mix to combine.
7. Add cooked pasta to the sweet potato sauce.
8. Serve the pasta and sauce, topped with crumbled crispy kale, a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper, and some grated Parmesan cheese.