Today, in the produce section, I had a moment. I saw the squash display. Nope, not of the summer varietal. There it was, staring straight at me. Winter squash. I wanted to pick up a spaghetti squash and cradle it in my arms like a newborn baby. Okay, not really. Or, possibly really. You’ll never know the truth.
But I already had a plan and spaghetti squash wasn’t part of it. And I never have a plan. Ask anyone who knows me. My “plans” often sound like this, “I plan on planning on planning on _______” <---- insert something that should have been done last week in the blank. So now you can follow my intent today to strictly adhere to said plan. I’m trying to turn a new leaf. For instance, tonight I read power point handouts on the treadmill. Now I can pick up Bourdain’s book again without feeling like I should be studying. Oh, Hai new me!
Well, the plan was to make the caramelized sweet potato mac & cheese from Joanne. So I kept walking and grabbed sweet potatoes instead. I’m glad I did. It was tasty and I now have enough of it left to eat nothing but sweet potato mac & cheese for the next 5 days. I’m not complaining. But I don’t plan on doing that. Because, well, I don’t make plans… usually.
Caramelized Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
5 cloves garlic
1/2 lb sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta (I used Whole Wheat Shells)
2 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
12 oz almond milk
1 cup reduced fat cheese (I used whatever I had in the fridge)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp bread crumbs (I used Whole Wheat, Italian Seasoned)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the sweet potatoes. Boil with garlic for five minutes. Mash the garlic with a fork and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the sweet potato slices for 5 minutes or until caramelized, flipping every minute or so. Set aside. I used this Roasted Garlic Olive Oil from the Temecula Olive Oil Company… it’s straight from Temecula, CA (by way of Augusta, Maine!)
Boil water and cook pasta. Prepare cheese sauce. Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, slowly. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute, whisking all the while. Mix in all of the cheese, 2 tbsp of the parmesan cheese, the salt, pepper and rosemary until the cheese is melted. Mix in the garlic and the sweet potato and pour into pasta.
Pour the pasta/cheese/sweet potato mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining 2 tbsp parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden.