Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

It's been a while, and that's an understatement. It's actually been almost three months since I've posted! If you are reading this, thank you for not giving up on me entirely. I don't have any reason other than I've been busy with life. But alas, here I am now, and I'm coming to you with a super delicious recipe that I came up with last night when I was thinking about mac and cheese, but didn't want something really heavy and greasy. My mind wandered to sweet potatoes, because I love them, and then I thought about pureeing them and using that as the sauce. Well, it worked! It turned out better than I could have expected, creamy, cheesy, with a perfectly crunchy top and an earthy sweet, garlicky sauce coating and filling the little macaroni noodles. I also think it would be a super way to 'hide' sweet potatoes for kids (or husbands) who claim not to like them. If you don't see them go into the food processor, you would be hard pressed to pick them out in the finished dish. Please try it and let me know what you think, there are surely a million spins you could put on it, I added spinach to the pasta and sauce before pouring it into the baking dish, but you could add lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower, goat's cheese, the possibilities are endless. Please take the amounts (especially the milk, cheese and spinach) as guidelines, if you like more or less, add more or less.


1 Medium Sweet Potato
1 c Skim Milk
75 gm Crumbled Feta Cheese
75 gm Grated Old Cheddar
¼ c Plain Bread Crumbs (I make my own by throwing stale bread into the food processor and letting it go until it turns into fine breadcrumbs)
4 Cloves Garlic
1 T Olive Oil
2 Handfuls Washed Spinach
1 lb (a regular sized package) Macaroni or other small, tubular pasta
Salt And Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut sweet potato into thick rounds, place on baking sheet with garlic cloves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 40 minutes, turning the rounds over about halfway through cooking. They should be very tender.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, put cooked sweet potato and garlic into food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour in milk and feta and pulse until combined. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. When pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Pour sweet potato mixture over top if pasta and stir to combine everything. Add the spinach and stir it in until it's wilted from the heat. Pour the pasta into a large rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheddar and bread crumbs and pop in the oven at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Bon appetit! And I promise to be back before long with more recipes!