October 7, 2011

Pasta with Kale, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Feta

I am kind of obsessed with kale and get really excited when it comes in the CSA bag each week. I usually just bake it into chips, so this week I decided I had to do something different with it. I remembered that fantastic kale and lentil pasta that I made last month, and thought about making that again, but I had two sweet potatoes on the counter that I wanted to use, so I had to come up with something else.

My past experiments with adding roasted sweet potato to pasta haven't been extremely successful (see here or here) and this was really no better. Maybe sweet potatoes and pasta aren't meant to hang out. Although sweet potatoes and Vialone Nano rice are a match made in heaven! This dish wasn't horrible, it just needed a little more depth of flavor (caramelized onions?) and a sauce of sorts. But, it wasn't bad for a weeknight dinner. And Patton loves roasted sweet potatoes.

Pasta with Kale and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Serves 3-4

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch (bag) of kale, thoroughly cleaned and ribs removed
1/2 pound dried pasta (I used the other half of the bag of shells from this dish, mainly because I wanted them out of the pantry!)
3 oz crumbled feta

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 25 or so minutes until soft.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously salt. Blanch the kale in the boiling water (should take 2 minutes or so, depending on how much texture you would like your kale to retain). Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. (If you are particularly ambitious, you can shock the kale in a bowl of ice water. I am lazy, so I tend to undercook it so I don't have to shock it.)

3. Cook the pasta in boiling water. Drain, reserving a cup of kale/pasta water. Mix the kale, sweet potatoes, pasta and feta together in a large bowl. Add a little pasta water to help create a sauce. Taste for seasoning (I had to add A LOT of salt and pepper).

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