Sweet Potato Pasta with Caramelized Onions + Sausage

If you've been reading this blog, by now you know that one of my favorite ways to cook is by improvising with ingredients I have on hand in the kitchen.

I had a bit of a challenge this week. After a long holiday, the refrigerator was mostly empty, and there was little fresh produce on hand. As I dug around the kitchen, ingredients began to appear. I was excited to find a not-yet -expired tub of mascarpone cheese. Anything will taste great when slathered in this! A few sweet potatoes were already roasted, so that was a no brainer. Red onions are a staple but when cooked down with butter and cabernet vinegar, they are transformed into sweet, caramelized condiment. I can always count on fresh arugula greens from the garden to add a peppery flavor to anything I make. Dinner was shaping up nicely, indeed. Mission accomplished. Dinner served.


2 sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces {best to make day before}
1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat or oil
8 sausage links or 2 large sausages
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch half-moon slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
250 grams {about 1/2 pound} dried egg yolk pasta, such as chitarra or fettucine
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano parmesan cheese
handful of washed arugula leaves, cut into chiffonade slices

Heat 4 quarts of salted water over medium high heat for the pasta.

In a 9" sauté pan, heat the bacon fat or oil over medium low heat. Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and cook slowly just until browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the butter and heat until melted. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occassionally, until the onions are starting to soften and become traslucent {about 10-12 minutes}. Add the vinegar and continue cooking over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain. In a large mixing bowl, add the mascarpone and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Toss the warm pasta with the cheese mixture until well-coated. Add the sweet potatoes, onions, sausage and arugula. Toss gently, just until all the ingredients are folded together. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Serves four.

* NOTE: This would be a lovely vegetarian meal if you omit the sausage.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2009 Alisa Barry

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I'm totally in love with this one...will be making it this week!!!!