No matter how you may be celebrating your Valentine’s Day, a hearty, homemade meal is always welcome, this recipe is full o’ love and what I might be serving (for the third time in two weeks) at our potluck tonight!
BUT WE DIDN’T HAVE KALE
The horror, I know. But we made it with kale chips last week, and they MUST be included. MUST.
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese + 2 tablespoons
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (preferably noodles) (May I also add organic to this!)
1 head of kale, leaves torn from stems
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add kale, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons romano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat with your hands and massage kale for 1-2 minutes, until flavors are distributed. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, tossing 1-2 times while cooking, until crispy. Remove and set aside.
Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.
While kale is cooking, heat olive oil and butter oven medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium and add in flour, whisking constantly to create somewhat of a roux. Once the roux has turned golden, add in mashed sweet potato and milk, whisking to combine. It will take a few minutes of whisking to bring the mixture together, and it’s okay if a few small bits of potato remain. Let the mixture come to a simmer in order for it to thicken a bit, but be careful because it thickens quickly. If it becomes too thick, simply add a little milk to thin it out. Reduce heat to low and stir in romano, remaining salt and pepper.
Once pasta is finished cooking, add noodles directly into the sweet potato sauce. Let sit for a few minutes, then transfer everything to a large bowl. Top with crispy kale and toss to distribute.
It came out even better the second time (with the exception of the missing kale chips) because I didn’t let the garlic and shallot get brown while they were cooking. This is a super easy recipe, try it out and visit How Sweet It Is for more great ideas!