Bootin’ the Gluten: Sweet potato cream pasta

Writing for the Sun-Gazette has been a wonderful experience. I write for a slew of other publications, but unlike the others, the Sun-Gazette allows me the creative freedom to test and create each recipe.

There is an open dialogue between the editor and myself, where ideas are tossed around, recipes are made and stories come to life.

It is an amazing opportunity to try new ingredients, cook seasonally and above all, interact with the community.

The freedom that is given to me to create something raw, and completely my own, is unbelievably rewarding, and something I look forward to each month.

So, I surprised myself when I decided that this month I would share a favorite recipe of mine that I have adapted to be gluten free, rather than create one from scratch like usual.

The recipe, which is posted in its original form on Marcus Samuelsson’s site (easily one of my favorite chefs), gives a healthy and extremely flavorful alternative to traditional creamed pasta.

The recipe, which calls for whole wheat linguini and a tablespoon of flour to thicken, can easily be adapted to fit many different dietary needs. I use quinoa pasta in place of the linguini which helps keep it healthy, and omit the flour all together.

The sweet potato can be from peeled and boiled potatoes that you have mashed or from a can if you are in a pinch.

I use left over roasted sweet potatoes, which adds a wonderfully deep flavor to this already mouth-watering pasta.

As hectic and as gluttonous as this time of year can be, this easy and customizable dish will be a welcome change at the dinner table.

Sweet potato cream pasta with kale

Yields: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, minced

1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/2 pound quinoa spaghetti, I use Ancient Harvest brand

1 bunch kale, cleaned and leaves torn into bite sized pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and kale.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, begin making the sauce.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook until the shallots are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add your mashed sweet potatoes and almond milk, and then whisk to combine.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the Parmesan cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste.

When your water is boiling, add the quinoa spaghetti and cook for 8-9 minutes or until it is just cooked through and al dente. 2-3 minutes before the pasta is ready to be drained, add the torn up kale leaves and cook them with the pasta.

Drain the pasta and kale and toss into the large skillet, evenly coating with the sweet potato sauce. Garnish with a bit of Parmesan and enjoy.

Adapted from Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe: sweet-potato-cream-pasta-with-kale-recipe

Green was first diagnosed with gluten intolerances as a teenager. Soon after, she developed a blog to share her struggles and successes of adapting to a gluten-free life.

Over the years, her passion for wellness has turned into a profession.

A 2012 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in New York, she is continually networking with other gluten-free experts and expanding her knowledge.

Her goal is to make gluten free an option for everyone, not just those in need.

Green may be reached at Her column is published on the second Wednesday of each month.