Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna

No matter how many times I make pasta dishes they can never quite measure up to lasagna.  I think there must be some type of magic hidden in the layers.  It’s just one of those scenarios when one plus one actual equals three, because the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.  And this lasagna is my new favorite, perfect for impressing dinner guests with the unique individual portion presentation.

sweet potato spinach lasagna

Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna
2 sweet potatoes
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c and 2 tbs milk
1/2 c and 2 tbs parmesan cheese
2 c frozen spinach
8 lasagna noodles
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
2 c italian blend shredded cheese

Butter 4 10-ounce ramekin dishes, set aside on a baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pierce sweet potato skins several times then microwave for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, flesh should be soft.  Allow sweet potatoes to cool.  Remove flesh from skin and add to a bowl with nutmeg, cinnamon, 2 tbs of milk, and 2 tbs of parmesan cheese. Mix until smooth and well combined. Defrost spinach then ring out excess water using a kitchen towel.  Cook lasagna noodles to just shy of al dente.  In the meantime in a skillet melt butter over medium heat, add flour to make roux.  Whisk in remaining 2 c milk, allow mixture to come to a simmer and thicken.  Add 1 c italian blend cheese, remove from heat.

To assemble put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of each ramekin then lay 2 lasagna noodles in an “x” pattern, allowing excess pasta to overhand the edges.  Add a rounded tablespoon of the sweet potatoes in each ramekin, then spinkle with spinach, adding a bit more sauce, and extra italian blend cheese.  Fold 2 overhanging pasta pieces over the filling then repeat the layering until each ramekin is full.  Use remaining italian blend cheese and parmesan cheese to top each lasagna.

Bake for 30 minutes until lasagna is bubbly and delicious.  Allow 10 minutes to cool then use a knife to loosen the edges around the ramekin and unmold onto serving dishes.


Cauliflower Pasta with Prosciutto and Breadcrumbs


Lately I’ve been reading a lot of cauliflower pasta recipes when it occurred to me I’ve never eaten those two items together.  Usually you see broccoli rabe with pasta or peppers and onions, but cauliflower pasta is some new food trend.  And after trying it, I know why….because it’s delicious.  Try this recipe today to see what I’m talking about.

cauliflower pasta

Cauliflower Pasta with Prosciutto and Breadcrumbs
3/4 c panko breadcrumbs
2 tbs olive oil, more for finishing
1/3 lb thick sliced prosciutto, chopped
1/2 lb campanelle pasta
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c white wine
1 c basil
1/2 c parsley

Add the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil to a skillet, stir until fully coated.  Turn heat to medium and toast until golden brown, set aside.  Cook pasta according to package instruction and reserve 1/2 c of pasta water.  Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add prosciutto and cook until crisp, remove from pan.  Using the same skillet add cauliflower and garlic, saute for 3 minutes.  Add white wine, let reduce by half then turn heat to low.  Add basil and parsley to a food processor along with 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, pulse until finely chopped.  Add cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the cauliflower, remove from heat.  Add prosciutto and herbs, toss to combine then top with breadcrumb mixture.

Brussels Sprouts and Breadcrumb Pasta


I didn’t grow up liking brussels sprouts, and in fact I’m not even sure I dared to try them as a kid.  But one thanksgiving my aunt made a recipe I just had to try.  It paired them with pancetta, and from there the love affair took off.  This recipe is a bit different, but uses the same concept with elbow macaroni.  So if you’ve never been a huge fan, try this recipe and it may just convert you too.

Food 099

Brussels Sprouts and Breadcrumb Pasta
12 oz brussels sprouts, chopped in half
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 c elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add brussels sprouts to a baking sheet, toss with 2 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay panko breadcrumbs on top of the brussels sprouts then drizzle more olive oil on top so they will get golden in the oven.  Roast for 30 minutes.  While the brussels sprouts are roasting heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes till it starts to get crispy, drain all but 2 tbs of fat.  Add shallot and cook until translucent, then add roasted brussels sprouts and cooked elbow macaroni.  Toss to combine, then serve.