You know that phrase “Shop until you drop!”? Well, I like to live it sometimes. Not such a good idea when you are trying to save for a wedding/house/future, but whatever. I love shopping.
AND I am so lucky to have an awesome shopping companion, especially one that is willing to hold my purse. Yes, I am talking about my awesome fiancé. (I think I am just going to start calling him Mr. Cheesehead now, because it amuses me.) Anyways, we were doing some bumming this weekend and decided to stop at Trader Joe’s…one of my favorite stores! I love all of their fresh produce, and quick meal options. We have this most favorite type of Chinese Orange Chicken that we stock up on, and no joke, I could eat the entire bag (or just drink the sauce straight up with a straw). Don’t judge me. I promise to think of a recipe to use with that stuff to share with you all in the near future! But anyways, back to Trader Joe’s…one this trip, we decided to splurge and try out this Prosciutto stuffed pasta (Mr. Cheesehead loves bacon and anything remotely close to bacon) and I couldn’t wait to put my own twist on it!
The wonderful thing about splurging every once and a while on a fancy store bought pasta (like this one) is that it gives you so much more flexibility when it comes to creating a sauce to go with it. I was inspired by our GIGANTIC sweet potatoes that are just sitting in their basket all cute-like and decided a roasted sweet potato sauce would be the way to go. This turned out to be pretty much a healthy-ish dinner version of a baked potato, with some pasta thrown in…YUM!
And one quick side note:
If you are more of a plain pasta (aka non-stuffed) type of person, or you just want to throw this with any kind of noodle, vegetable, or even chicken/turkey, you can totally go for it! This sauce would be amazing on pretty much anything in my opinion!
Okay…finally on to the recipe!
Sweet Potato Cream Sauce with Trader Joe’s Perline Pasta and Prosciutto
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 cup half and half
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. freshly chopped sage
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Now there are two ways to do this first part, baking or microwaving. I decided to microwave mine, mostly because I didn’t have as much time as the baking required.
To Microwave: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes using a fork, place on microwave safe plate. Nuke them for 10-12 minutes, on high, until tender, typically only turning once.
To Bake: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When finished, allow to cool a bit and carefully cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato ‘guts’ and place in bowl. Set skins aside. Add half and half and olive oil and mash (or blend) together until becomes a creamy sauce. Set aside. Cook pasta based on lower end of package directions, basically taking out a minute before it becomes al dente, unless you want overcooked pasta! Add sweet potato mixture, garlic, butter, and sage and cook on low until well blended. Add in salt and pepper, based on taste. Mix in ½ cup of the cheese and the pasta and stir until all mixed together. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and serve immediately.
But wait, there’s more…
Look at this little gem:
Since I didn’t want to waste the skins of the sweet potatoes after I dumped out their warm yummy filling for the sauce, I decided to quick whip up an appetizer too!
I would just like to preface this next recipe by saying I ended up eating more of these than my actual dinner. Oh well, pasta is always an amazing leftover! These were just so dang tasty. They would also be good with a little dollop of sour cream and some chives, but I mowed them down too soon to think of that (or take a picture).
After you have finished scooping out the potato guts quickly mix the following together and it will happily bake even more yumminess into your dinner:
Pinch of Salt
1 slice of ham or bacon
1 tbsp BBQ sauce
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly drizzle olive oil and salt onto bottom (skin side) of potatoes and place on pan, skin side down. Combine bacon and BBQ sauce together and spoon into potato skin. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 5-10 minutes depending on size of potato, until cheese gets nice and melty.
One more side note: I really wanted to brag about my GIGANTIC sweet potatoes, but since Mr. Cheesehead and I weren’t actually that hungry, I only made about half of the sauce I was planning on, ergo, I will just have to save the mondo-potatoes for next time! Stay tuned!