Sweet Potato Hot Dish

March and April are tricky times of the year. The spring produce isn’t really in season yet, but neither are the root vegetables of Winter. So if you’ve got a few less than fresh sweet potatoes lying around, like I did, here’s a way to use them up that’s both tasty and healthy!

This is a recipe adapted from Cooking Light, they called it sweet potato mac n’ cheese, but based on the sweet-potato-to-cheese ratio, and maybe the fact that I’m Minnesotan, I really thought this qualified as more of a hot dish*.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • One box uncooked whole-wheat macaroni or penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup red wine
Directions:
1. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork; place on a paper towel, and cook in the microwave for 20-25 minutes, or until your fork easily slides through the potatoes.
2. Cool slightly, avoid burning yourself on steam (lessons learned). Peel and mash your potatoes in a large bowl. Stir in milk and next 6 ingredients (through cheese).
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Stir pasta into the sweet potato mixture.
4. While your pasta is cooking, pre heat your broiler and coat a skillet with cooking spray. Add the Italian turkey sausage, casing removed, and cook for about 4-6 minutes, until throughly brown and stirring frequently to crumble it. Once sausage is cooked, deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine, and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a 13 x 9 inch pan and sprinkle evenly with the cooked sausage. Broil the whole thing for 2 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Serve immediately with some leafy greens and enjoy!

*For those of you not from the Midwest, a hot dish is basically any combination of ingredients you can imagine mixed together and baked in a pan. Very common at potlucks.

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