Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweet Potato Pasta with Brown Butter and Herb Sauce

Vacation is awesome.  John and I just spent a week in Spain - our first full week off of work in 2 years - it was a much needed break and time to disconnect.  We visited Madrid, Granada, and Barcelona.  Each city was so unique and offered so many different cultural elements that we loved.  I have to say Barcelona was my favorite; we both agreed we could go back and spend a week there alone.

After vacation I do always enjoy coming home and getting back into my routine.  And after 8 days of eating rich (awesome) food and drinking lots of wine, I am equally as ready to get back in the kitchen!  I'm keeping a running list of recipes I want to make this fall and am ready to start meal planning and being organized about it again.  For about 3 or 4 weeks before we left, things were so busy that we ended up coming home on the days when we didn't have plans and staring at the fridge and asking each other 50 times "what should we eat for dinner?"  

Right before we left I did manage to pull together a blog worthy "pantry" meal that ended up being delicious.  We had some homemade sweet potato pasta hiding in the pantry that was given to us as a gift.  I decided to make a spin on a brown butter sauce and lighten it up significantly with just a little bit of butter and olive oil.  (A lot of the recipes I looked at online had 1/2 to a full stick of butter in the, no.)  When cooking with butter I always find that a little goes a long way.  I added some herbs and veggies that we had in the fridge and was pleasantly surprised that we managed to pull something out of what seemed like no options for dinner.  A well stocked pantry always pulls through!

Sweet Potato Pasta with Brown Butter and Herb Sauce
Serves 4
1 lb dry sweet potato pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 - 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
sprinkle of nutmeg
2 tablespoons chives, chopped 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
salt and pepper
Boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions.  I used fresh so it only took about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil and heat until melted.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the squash and cook another 5 or 6 minutes (note - you can really use any vegetable you'd like here, or eliminate the squash altogether; I used it because it was sitting in our fridge and was going to go bad if I didn't use it).  While cooking, season the squash and onion with salt and pepper to taste.  Once squash is starting to get soft, add the herbs and stir.  

When pasta is done, remove from water and add to the sauce pan.  Stir in the parmesan cheese and chives and combine until the sauce, cheese, and herbs are completely combined.  (I once saw on the Food Network that this is the best way to make sure the pasta is completely coated with the sauce, as opposed to putting the pasta on a plate and then topping with sauce.)

Serve and top with more grated parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!  This makes great leftovers - John enjoyed it cold the next day, so it could almost be made as a pasta salad.



  1. I went to Barcelona right when I graduated college. I loved it!

    And also yay for adding the Name/URL option to your comments. it makes it so much easier for me to comment that way.

  2. Oh good! I didn't even realize that I had it set up the other way until today. I'm so out of it when it comes to making blogging easier. Glad it's easier for you to comment :-)

  3. tracy - glad to hear that you had a great trip to spain! you look beautiful and happy in the pictures! i am always ready to get back to my normal routine after vacation too.

    sweet potato pasta sounds really good.