Baked Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Cheese

I am a bit hesitant about posting this recipe since most of the pictures don’t properly reflect the changes I made. There was a Food and Wine recipe I adapted, and I am adapting it again for this post. Basically, K and I weren’t big fans of certain ingredients/steps. I could be a good food blogger and make it again for new pictures, but we have a bunch of leftovers to get through and that feels wasteful. (Sorry.) So instead, use your imagination a bit with my pictures, but follow the steps I wrote. Really, it is more about omitting the radicchio I used, cutting the pasta amount in half, and adding in some peas. We loved the sweet potatoes in this (K kept commenting on them) and definitely want to keep them in mind for future cheesy pasta recipes.

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I did manage to take some pictures when we ate leftovers. I added peas and sausage and it tasted really good.

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This recipe uses a variety of cheeses:

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As I stated above, it originally called for radicchio, which you could use.

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K thought it tasted like romaine lettuce. It kind of did when baked. I like it raw, but he doesn’t…so I guess it’s something I probably won’t be buying again. It didn’t really add much to the dish. K had the idea to add peas, and I definitely agree that they would be good in this. If you add the radicchio, you would add it when I say to add the peas. I also cut back the amount of pasta, so the baking dish should be less full when you make it. There was way more pasta than sauce or anything else, so I am swapping it down to a more reasonable amount.

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Here is another one with the peas and sausage:

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Directions for Baked Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Cheese

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) penne rigate or similar shape
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a white cheddar with garlic flavoring)
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss-style cheese (I used Jarlsberg), plus 1/2 cup of the cheese in diced form
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano (or more Parmesan)
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, mix together the sweet potatoes with the thyme and some salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread out the potatoes evenly on the sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes until fork-tender.

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Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente, drain, and set aside.

Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish. Heat the butter over medium low heat in a medium saucepan, or in the same pan you used for the pasta. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Then, whisk in a few tablespoons of milk at a time until you have used about 1/2 cup of the milk.

Whisk until it is smooth--this isn't ready for more milk yet.

Whisk until it is smooth–this isn’t ready for more milk yet.

Then, you can begin whisking in 1/2 cup of milk at a time. Continue stirring and whisking until the sauce thickens (about 8-10 minutes). Add the shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Swiss cheese, shredded Parmesan, and nutmeg. Also add some salt and pepper at this time.

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Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta, peas, and rosemary.

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Pour half of the pasta in the baking dish, then place a layer of half of the sweet potatoes and diced cheese.

(Ignore the radicchio)

(Ignore the radicchio)

 

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Follow with the rest of the pasta, then the rest of the sweet potatoes and diced cheese. Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese on top.

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Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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Directions for Baked Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Cheese (without pictures)

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) penne rigate or similar shape
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a white cheddar with garlic flavoring)
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss-style cheese (I used Jarlsberg), plus 1/2 cup of the cheese in diced form
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano (or more Parmesan)
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, mix together the sweet potatoes with the thyme and some salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread out the potatoes evenly on the sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes until fork-tender. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente, drain, and set aside.

Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish. Heat the butter over medium low heat in a medium saucepan, or in the same pan you used for the pasta. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Then, whisk in a few tablespoons of milk at a time until you have used about 1/2 cup of the milk. Then, you can begin whisking in 1/2 cup of milk at a time. Continue stirring and whisking until the sauce thickens (about 8-10 minutes). Add the shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Swiss cheese, shredded Parmesan, and nutmeg. Also add some salt and pepper at this time. Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta, peas, and rosemary.

Pour half of the pasta in the baking dish, then place a layer of half of the sweet potatoes and diced cheese. Follow with the rest of the pasta, then the rest of the sweet potatoes and diced cheese. Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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