Let me just start by writing…
Why did it take me so long to come up with this scrumptious pasta sauce?!
You probably know how dear to my heart (and mouth) sweet potatoes are, so including them into a pasta sauce was bound to happen sooner or later. I took a cue from my Pumpkin Mac & Cheese, and used another vegetable–this time roasted sweet potato puree–as the base for this easy and delicious pasta sauce.
I could make a meal just out of plain fresh sweet potato puree, no problem.
But inviting cheese to the party certainly never hurts. For this shindig, I introduced double cream brie cheese, neufchatel cream cheese, and…
grated sharp cheddar.
They became instant friends.
The three cheeses melted beautifully into the warm sweet potato puree & milk mixture before being tossed with hearty whole wheat penne. The overall cheese flavor is rather mellow and mild, which allows your taste buds to recognize the sweetness from the potato puree.
A touch of nutmeg rounded out the flavor, and I was in pure bliss from the first bite.
After relishing in a bowlful of this luscious pasta, I attacked the pot in which the sauce was cooked with the gusto of
a kid yours truly licking a brownie batter bowl.
It’s just that good.
Sweet Potato and Brie Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni or other pasta, preferably whole wheat or whole wheat blend pasta
- 1 cup sweet potato puree (bake a few sweet potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour, or until soft; puree flesh until smooth; measure out 1 cup)
- 1 cup milk (skim or 1%)
- 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) 1/3-less-fat neufchatel cream cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup good-quality double cream brie cheese, rind removed, cut into cubes
- tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions (I actually prefer to cook my pasta a minute or two less than the lowest cooking time on the package for al dente pasta); drain.
- Meanwhile, whisk together and heat sweet potato puree and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just starting to simmer.
- Reduce stove heat to low. Whisk in cheeses until fully melted.
- Stir in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir drained pasta into the sweet potato-cheese sauce and mix until thoroughly combined.
- At this point, the mac & cheese might appear a bit soupy. If this is the case, let the mixture sit off of the heat for a few minutes. The cheese sauce will firm up as it slightly cools.
- Serve with an extra dusting of nutmeg, if desired.