Pappardelle with a Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce



This sweet potato sauce is something else! Sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, and a big pile of aromatics are roasted, puréed, and then combined with a spicy tomato base and topped off with a bit of cream to create the ultimate sauce that is just a bit sweet, fragrant, and spicy.

Be sure to boil your pasta in enough water that you’ll be able to remove about 1¾ cups for the sauce!

GRADE

Serves: 6

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 30-40 minutes

INGREDIENTS FOR PAPPARDELLE AND SWEET POTATO SAUCE

16 ounces pappardelle pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 red Fresno chili pepper

2 shallots

5 cloves garlic

1 14.5-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

FOR SERVING

Extra virgin olive oil

Shredded aged provolone (Or parmesan cheese)

Fresh basil leaves

METHOD

Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pappardelle according to the pasta instructions and reserve 2½ cups of the pasta cooking water.

Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes. Trim and roughly chop the red bell pepper and red Fresno chili pepper. Peel and cut the shallot in half. Peel the garlic. Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes until fork-tender.  Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor along with 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water and purée until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Start the Tomato Base: While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the tomato base. In a large pot, combine the crushed tomatoes with the parsley, onion powder, crushed red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. (The tomato base should be done right as you’re finishing roasting and puréeing the vegetables). Pour the purée into the sauce along with the remaining ¾ cup pasta cooking water. Stir in the heavy cream if using and then season the sauce according to your tastes. Simmer for 5 additional minutes before adding the pasta to the sauce and tossing to coat. Cook an additional minute or two to re-warm the pasta.

To Serve: Divide the pasta between bowls and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and arrange a few basil leaves on top of each dish. Enjoy!

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