spinach, sweet potato, and pasta casserole

i skimmed this recipe from love & lemons a couple weeks back and didn’t think much of it. sweet potatoes and pasta? seems unnecessary. but the picture was pretty, so i flagged it. then i read a little more carefully – the sweet potato becomes the base of the creamy sauce. creamy pasta? that sounds delicious.

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i adapted the recipe to be vegetarian instead of vegan, because i have no problem with dairy. and made a couple other minor tweaks.

makes 4-5 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces fusili pasta (i used whole wheat)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

preheat oven to 350. heat the olive oil in a large pot. add in shallots and cook down for a couple of minutes. next, add garlic, potatoes, broth, and heavy cream. salt and pepper the mixture. bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let it reduce for 20 minutes.

meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente. drain and pour pasta over spinach, so spinach begins to wilt.

once the potato mixture is nice and thick, pour it into a food processor (you’ll need kind of a big one). add in mustard and syrup. blend until you get a smooth, creamy mixture. place pasta and spinach mixture in the bottom of a baking dish. pour potato mixture on top.

*the sweet potato cream is so good,  i licked the food processor blade. and then i thought of what my mother would say if she saw me do that…

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finally sprinkle scallions and bread crumbs. cook for 20 minutes and then broil for 3 on high at the end.

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