I don’t know about you, but I’m what one might consider a “social media junkie.” Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest … I love them all. While recently purusing my Twitter feed, I saw that my friend Karen had tweeted out the following:
Sweet Potato Chile Mac (with Proscuitto) Made this recipe from Cooking Light today … WOW. So good. pinterest.com/pin/1548181091…
— Karen Howard Philip (@karenphilip) March 5, 2012
Intrigued, I clicked on over to Pinterest and then through to the recipe on My Recipes. While I wasn’t totally sure the list of ingredients would mesh well, I trust Karen’s palate so The Chef and I decided to give this one a go … and boy are we glad we did, as evidenced by The Chef’s tweet last night:
Holy Crap. This is terrific! Thanks “@karenphilip: Sweet Potato Chile Mac. http://t.co/cLsVF5hr”
— Chuck Friedhoff (@CKFriedhoff) March 8, 2012
Originally published as “Sweet Potato Chile Mac” by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Mark Bittman, in the March 2012 issue of one of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light, this surprisingly healthy pasta dish combines the spicy flavors of Mexican chorizo and chipotle in adobo with a sweet and smooth mixture of pureed sweet potato and sour cream to create a delicious and light twist on macaroni and cheese.
In addition to mixing up the spices, I substituted sour cream for the milk used in the recipe in hopes of firming the sweet potato and pasta mixture up a bit so I could create a layered lasagna-like dish that would hold together when cut … and to my surprise, it worked … The Chef and I were able to dish this up just like “regular” lasagna.
Oh, the taste? Well, The Chef said it best when he said, “Holy crap. This is terrific!” Spicy, “cheesy,” and just plain terrific, this recipe is going into the “to make again soon” file!
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Lasagna
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup packed) and divided
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 8 ounces uncooked penne or pipe rigate pasta
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a knife; place on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until tender.
3. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and mash in a large bowl or run through a food mill until smooth. Stir in sour cream and next 5 ingredients (chipotle through paprika). Mix in 1/4 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chorizo to pan; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain any residual fat from the chorizo.
5. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Add pasta to the sweet potato mixture.
6. Preheat broiler to high.
7. Spoon half of the pasta and sweet potato mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Top with all of the crumbled chorizo, then cover with the remaining pasta and sweet potato mixture. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
8. Broil 2 to 4 minutes or until lasagana is lightly browned and crisp.
9. Sprinkle with cilantro, slice, and serve.
NOTES: Pipe rigate is a hollow curved pasta that resembles a snail shell; it’s one of The Chef’s favorite shapes so we use it a lot. It’s the perfect shape to hold thick or chunky pasta sauces. Also, The Chef and I like a certain level of heat; if you don’t like things to be too spicy, just reduce the amount of spices called for.