Sunday, April 03, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Leeks

While I often say that black beans are my favorite food, sweet potatoes and winter squash are pretty high on the list too.  So I apologize to any of you that aren't fans, since I know that all three of these foods make very frequent appearances in the recipes here.  This was a quick dish that I made for dinner the other night that was pretty much inspired by the fact that I had peeled one too many sweet potatoes when making the Carribean sweet potato black bean gratin, and I needed to use it up before it went bad.  It turned out to be really delicious though so I wanted to share it here, both for your benefit and so that I can remember what I did the next time I want to make it.  The roasted sweet potato and leeks both give it a nice, sweet (but not cloying) taste, which is well balanced by the richness of the pepper and walnuts and the tartness of the goat cheese.  I think this would also be delicious, although in a different way, with winter squash.

Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Leeks
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 leek
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Aleppo peppers (more about them here) or regular crushed red peppers
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 lb pasta (or less)
  • 1-2 oz. goat cheese
  • salt to taste

Put on a large pot of salted water to boil on stovetop and set oven to 400.  Peel and chop sweet potato into ~1/2" cubes. Wash leek and finely chop white and light green parts.  Toss together sweet potato, garlic, red pepper flakes, and about 1 tablespoon oil and salt to taste in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.  Put in oven to roast.

When water boils, put pasta in to cook. Toast walnuts until lightly browned.  Check roasting vegetables and stir after about 10 minutes.  When pasta is done cooking, drain and then check roasting vegetables - they should be about done after cooking for 15-20 minutes, which was about the time it took for my pasta water to boil and then my pasta to cook.  Put pasta in a bowl and top with walnuts, drizzle with another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (to taste), then add roasted veggies and salt to taste and stir to combine.  Crumble goat cheese on top and serve.

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