Roasted Sweet Potato & Leek Pasta for a Winter Night

I found this recipe in Real Simple (where I also snagged the picture because we ate ours all up before I could get out the camera). So although I’ll link to the original since that might be easier to print, I’ve made some changes below: roasting the sweet potato rather than sauteeing it (it takes longer, but it’s no more effort, and I think it tastes better), and also deglazing the pan with some white wine.

Of course, only Tony and I ate it as written; Ben ate his pasta sprinkled with nuts, the sweet potatoes on the side, and Eli, having rejected the sweet potatoes and the leeks, ate pasta with grated cheese and sprinkled nuts, but at least we all ate versions of the same thing. I’ll call that a success!

2-3 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or an equal amount of winter squash, peeled and diced

12 ounces penne (whole wheat or multigrain pasta is especially nice here)

3 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half-moons
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 T white wine
3-4 T olive oil
1 or 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

salt and pepper
toasted pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 while you peel and chop the sweet potatoes or squash. Oil a roasting pan and toss the sweet potatoes/squash in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil and some of the chopped sage. Roast the vegetables, turning once or twice, for 15 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring a big pot of water to boil and cook the pasta. When it’s done, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta’s cooking, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and a bit of sage and cook 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook another minute or two.

At this point, you can turn off the heat under the leeks until the pasta and roasted vegetables are finished. Once all three elements of the dish are cooked, add the pasta and roasted vegetables to the leeks in the skillet, add the sprinkle of nutmeg and stir, adding a bit of the pasta-cooking water if it seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with grated parmesan and the slivered almonds and/or pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.


  1. Leightongirl says:

    Yum! I’m making this tonight.

  2. Libby says:

    Mmm! I’m always looking for new things to do with sweet potatoes and/or winter squash. This looks fabulous.

  3. Aliki2006 says:

    I saw this recipe in Real Simple but haven’t had a chance to make it yet. We love leeks around here (well, two of us do) so I think I’ll give this s try this week!

  4. Sarah says:

    This looks yummy! I keep thinking I want to create a five or ten day menu of vegetarian, mostly local (Bay Area food supply) wintry dinners. Do you have any ideas for me??? I’m thinking relatively easy recipes that would appeal to the palates of a whole family…kid(s) and all.

    Any ideas from other folks? Might you actually devote a future posting to this???