I survived vacation! It was difficult, but you know, I managed to get through through the morning beach walks, large amounts of food, and nights in the pub. Perseverance! 😉
I am now, of course, fairly jet-lagged. Which means two things: 1). I’d like my carbs with an extra topping of carbs, please and 2). I have no patience or energy for chopping things. So this was last night’s creation to fit those two requirements. I suffered through chopping the two sweet potatoes, but other than that no chopping required, and it really hit the spot as my body was like “WTF time of day is it?!”
If you are a cheese eater, you should definitely throw some Parmesan on here. Or, if you don’t eat dairy and aren’t as poor as I am, throw in some nooch or vegan parm.
*I used 2 sweet potatoes but didn’t put it all in the pasta – probably saved about 1/2 to 2/3 of one separate to throw on salads and other random stuff this week. So you can use just one big one and throw it all in, or use two and save some if you want. Your call!
SUMMER’S END PASTA WITH BALSAMIC SWEET POTATOES, SPINACH AND WALNUTS
1 – 2 sweet potatoes (see * above)
2 cups pasta
Large handful of spinach
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or thyme or sage, whatever you have)
Chop the sweet potato into cubes and place in a microwaveable bowl. Add a bit of water, cover and steam for 5 minutes in microwave (you can skip this step if you want, but the potatoes will take longer to cook in the pan. Or use a steamer on the stove if you prefer). While they are steaming, throw on a pot of water for pasta on the stove.
When the potatoes are out of the microwave, get out a large skillet with a lid and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. When heated put the sweet potatoes in. Let them cook, stirring often and covering with lid between stirs. Put the pasta in when the water has reached a boil, sometime while you are cooking the spuds. Cook until all the potato pieces are pretty much fully cooked and some are starting to get golden crispy bits on them.
By this time the pasta should be cooked, so drain it and place back in the pot. Set aside.
Add three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the sweet potatoes and give it a good stir. Cook for another minute, until all the vinegar is absorbed and the potatoes are coated.
Then combine the potatoes in the pot with the pasta. Add another drizzle of olive oil and turn on the burner again. Mince in a garlic clove and the last tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a good amount of black pepper. Mix it all well and let cook for a few minutes. Add in the walnuts, then the spinach and the oregano. Cook until all the spinach is wilted. Taste and add more pepper or vinegar if you want.
Top with a few more walnuts before serving.
- If you don’t have sweet potatoes, butternut squash would also be good. Likewise, sub in any leafy green for the spinach – kale or arugula would work!
- If you have leftover ingredients and set aside some of the sweet potato like I did, use them in a salad! Put down a bed of the greens you used. Top with the sweet potato and nuts. Add other ingredients like sweet peas, apple, or dried cranberries. Dress with a little balsamic vinegar.
A few more vacation pics, for fun: