I woke up one morning a few weeks ago craving sweet potatoes and kale. It just felt like the perfect fall veggie combo and even though it may seem like all I eat around here in the fall are pumpkiny baked goods, I do in fact still eat vegetables (well, vegetables that aren’t baked up with sugar and butter). We drove out to my favorite organic farm in the area and picked up what we needed and headed home to cook. It’s (relatively) healthy and easy and I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to make it again.
I already had an idea of what I wanted, but turned to the web for recipe ideas nonetheless and was intrigued by this recipe on Whole Living. I have to admit, I was really kind of thrown off by the tomatoes. Tomatoes and sweet potatoes? It seemed weird to me. Now that I think of it though, I’ve seen stews with both tomatoes and sweet potatoes, but at the time, all I could think was that the tomatoes were going to overpower the earthy fall flavors I was going for. Joseph wasn’t nearly as perturbed and said we should just give it a try. And I’m so glad we did! The flavors work perfectly with each other and the tomatoes infuse a lush juiciness to the pasta while the acidity balances out the starch from the pasta and sweet potatoes.
The pine nuts add a nice crunch and we added another layer of flavor and texture to the dish by adding bacon because bacon makes anything better. You can easily make this without the bacon if you want to make it vegetarian and you can even leave the cheese out if you want to make it vegan.
The first time we made the pasta, I felt like there wasn’t quite enough kale, so when we went to the store to make this dish again, we picked up two bunches of kale. It wasn’t until we got home and were trying to stuff these two huge bunches of kale in the fridge that we realized we had way more than enough. It turns out the farm where we first picked up our kale sells it in smaller batches. But if you ask me, having too much kale around the house is not a problem. Not only do I love kale, but according to Whole Living, kale has more nutritional value per calorie than almost any other food. Sweet potato and kale pizza anyone?