On a recent trip to the Quad Cities, I visited Freight House Farmers’ Market in Davenport, Iowa and picked up some really cool pastas, including sweet potato pappardelle, dark chocolate linguine, lavender fettuccine, and Tunisian harissa fettuccine. I was so excited to see that it all made it back in my suitcase without breaking, too! This is what I made with the pappardelle. (Hint: If you’d like to prepare this recipe with the same pasta I used, order it here.)
I kept this recipe pretty simple so the sweet potato flavor still remains a highlight. But thanks to the flavorful noodles, caramelized onions, and a just-right amount of goat cheese for creaminess and tang, this pasta dish tastes downright decadent…even without butter, cream, or excess cheese. Plus, this pappardelle recipe is vegetarian, making it ideal for Meatless Monday. It can be made vegan simply by using soft nut-based cheese instead of goat cheese. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy this delicious entrée for one—or just double it if you’d like pasta for two!
Calories saved: 40
Why it’s better for you: A burst of beta carotene from the sweet potato pasta!
sweet potato pappardelle with greens and goat cheese
Yield: 1 serving
Serving size: 2 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
- 3 ounces dry sweet potato pappardelle or other pasta*
- 3 tablespoons crumbled soft goat cheese or soft nut-based cheese
- 2 1/2 cups packed fresh baby spinach or other dark leafy greens
- Several small fresh basil or cilantro leaves
- Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and cook while stirring until the onion is caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of (salted) water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the caramelized onion. Add the goat cheese and desired amount of the reserved pasta cooking liquid; toss until creamy. Add the greens and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and toss until spinach just wilts. Adjust seasoning.
- Transfer to a pasta bowl and serve. Garnish with herbs as desired. (Truth: I prefer cilantro with this. But try this with basil and cilantro to see what works best for your palate!)
Per serving: 490 calories, 17g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 25mg cholesterol, 870mg sodium, 69g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 10g sugars with 0g added sugars, 18g protein
*Don’t have sweet potato pasta? You can add 1/2 cup of cubed roasted sweet potato into the finished pasta. Or toss the pasta with 1/4 cup pureed/mashed sweet potato along with the goat cheese.
The “Before” Version
Compare to Lemony Pasta with Goat Cheese and Spinach
Per serving: 530 calories, 18g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, variable sodium, 72g total carbohydrate, 8g dietary fiber, 2g sugars with 0g added sugars, 23g protein
- Consider using a flavorful, colorful pasta to add extra enjoyment to your meal
- Don’t go overboard on cheese; sometimes just a touch is all you need
- When using high-flavored ingredients, such as caramelized onion, goat cheese, and sweet potato pasta, keep the recipe simple otherwise so you don’t mask these tasty highlights