Here is a real simple dish that you can serve up any night of the week. It's got lots of flavor, simple ingredients, and is good for you. The leeks practically melt into this dish, lending lots of mild oniony flavor. Next time I make this I'll probably wait until the sweet potatoes have cooked for a few minutes before adding the leeks, they really did practically melt away. I also added a cup of frozen peas a few minutes before the end, and skipped the nutmeg. Not on purpose though, I just forgot to add it. I finished off the dish with some grated pecorino romano. Did you know that pecorino romano is made from sheep's milk? It is. J can't have anything with cow's milk, it's an allergy, so parmesano reggiano is out. But sheep and goat's milk cheeses are alright, so we use pecorino romano on our pasta. The original recipe as seen in the February 2008 issue of Real Simple magazine can be found below. Enjoy!
multigrain pasta with sweet potatoes and leeks from Real Simple February 2008
hands-on time: 25 minutes | total time: 25 minutes | serves 4
12 ounces multigrain penne
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half moons
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes (1 large or two small), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they soften, 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage and cook 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and cook, covered, stirring twice, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano and the reserved cooking water and simmer, stirring, until the potatoes are fully tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta and nutmeg and toss.
Divide amount individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan or Romano and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.