I’ve already learnt so much during my Institute for Integrative Nutrition studies I barely know where to begin, but as a former chocolate-and-Starburst addict I particularly liked the module on ‘deconstructing cravings’.

  • Lesson from the Institute: sugar cravings can often be decreased by increasing your intake of sweet vegetables.
  • Lesson from life: men need (what I call) 'boy food' like daisies need rain, and serving up a simple salad to your favourite menfolk when they are ravenous could result in you losing an arm.  Or worse.
The solution?  A rich, satisfying pasta bake that will pacify the strongest of men and sugar cravings! (And if you're craving a man?? Well, sugar, we can only try...) This is a great dish to cook for friends and visiting relatives because you can make individual serves ahead of time and then just pop them into the oven to bake just before your guests arrive. Serve with an easy, pre-made Antipasto & Quinoa Salad or Roast Vegetable & Pepita Salad and then sit back, relax and spend your time catching up on the goss. Please don't be put off by the number of steps below - each one is incredibly simple and the finished product is oh-so worth it.  Extra portions keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and taste amazing reheated, so you could also make extra bowls and take a break from cooking later in the week. 'Cook once, eat twice' (or more!) is another great lesson from my Institute studies.  Less time in the kitchen = more time for play in your life!  Hurray!  
Sweet Potato & Pine Nut Pasta Bake
 
From the kitchen of: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Goodies
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small head broccoli, de-stemmed, washed and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 2 handfuls grated non-dairy cheese (I use 'Vegusto No-Moo Piquant' in this recipe for a really smokey flavour that matches beautifully with sweet potato, but use any type you fancy)
  • 4 large handfuls pasta spirals (I use a whole packet of 'San Remo Gluten-Free Pasta Spirals 250g')
  • 3 handfuls pine nuts
  • 1 handful fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring a half cup of stock/broth to the boil. Lower heat and simmer.
  3. Add garlic, chilli, onion and sweet potato. Cook, stirring, until sweet potato softens. As the stock evaporates, add half a cup more at a time.
  4. Add broccoli and continue to cook, stirring, until broccoli softens.
  5. Remove pot from heat and using tongs, transfer broccoli and half the sweet potato to 4 small ramekins/cookware bowls, dividing evenly.
  6. Divide uncooked pasta evenly between the 4 bowls.
  7. Return pot to heat and cook remaining half of sweet potato with a little more of the vegetable stock/broth until sweet potato is very soft.
  8. Pour remainder of the vegetable broth into blender and add the sweet potato mix. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  9. Blend on high until smooth.
  10. Pour sweet potato 'soup' into the 4 bowls, dividing evenly. Be sure to push all pasta spirals down under the liquid to ensure it cooks well.
  11. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the bowls.
  12. Place the 4 bowls into the oven and bake until golden brown (about 20-25 mins).
  13. In the meantime, return empty pot to stove top over medium heat. Add margarine, pine nuts and sage leaves and sauté until pine nuts are golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  14. Remove 4 bowls from oven, sprinkle them evenly with the pine nut & sage leave mix, and serve.

Sweet Potato & Pine Nut Pasta Bake

 
 

21 Comments on Sweet Potato & Pine Nut Pasta Bake

  1. Annie
    March 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m going to try it out – eating more sweet veggies cuz this girl has a raging sweet tooth!

    Reply
  2. Kristy
    March 7, 2013 at 1:57 am (4 years ago)

    That’s a great tip! Sweet potatoes, here I come! 🙂

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      March 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm (4 years ago)

      YUM, plus beets, carrots & corn! Hurray for sweet veg! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Sophie
    March 7, 2013 at 5:44 am (4 years ago)

    A fantastic & tasty appetizing pasta bake! I love it all! Yummy!

    Reply
  4. Somer
    March 8, 2013 at 5:50 am (4 years ago)

    Me and my man would love this. In fact, I’m probably more into “comfort food” then he is… He’s always asking me why we eat so many carbs. Doh!

    Reply
  5. Emma
    March 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you – I made this the same day I read the recipe (with white potatoe as there was no time to shop). It was quick and easy. My fussy, omni dinner guests loved it (I excluded the chili and sage for them). I cooked it in a regular casserole dish and it turned out perfectly.

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      March 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh fantastic, Emma! I’m so glad to hear it was a hit. I find that pasta usually keeps the Omni’s happy – and double points for potato too. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Rachel @ Bakerita
    March 11, 2013 at 5:17 am (4 years ago)

    This sounds absolutely delicious! What a yummy pasta dinner.

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      March 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s crazy delish for lunch the next day too, Rachel! NOM! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living
    March 15, 2013 at 8:01 am (4 years ago)

    Yumm! I love this. This is such a fun way to spice up pasta. I have been having way to many red sauces lately.

    Reply
  8. Reia@TheCrueltyFreeReview
    March 15, 2013 at 8:39 am (4 years ago)

    I know that when I’m having a sweet craving it goes away when I munch on some baby carrots. Funny how easy it is to trick the brain…it just takes the discipline to do so!
    I look forward to trying this recipe; lots of yummy flavors going on!

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      March 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Oooh I love baby carrots! Great idea and even healthier than cooked sweet potatoes. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Fran
    March 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh dear it hasn’t turned out quite right though the taste is good. I think it would help to know proper measurements rather than ‘handfuls’ as I think mine had too much pasta that took too long to cook.

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      March 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that, Fran! I’ve been trying to steer away from metric system measurements so that the recipes are translatable but perhaps will stick to ‘cupfuls’ rather than ‘handfuls’ from now on.
      I just made it again today for visiting family and measured a 250g packet of spiral pasta as 3.5 cupfuls. Gluten-free pasta needs less cooking time than regular pasta but if you make sure that all pasta is completely covered by liquid (adding more water if those sweet potato chunks are taking up too much room), it should be cooked perfectly after 25 minutes. xx

      Reply
  10. ilana hamilton
    April 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm (4 years ago)

    This sounds really tasty and satisying. Where do you find the Vegusto No-Moo Piquant here in Perth?

    Reply
    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      April 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm (4 years ago)

      Head straight to PAWS in Northbridge, Ilana! They’ll hook you up. I usually buy 3 blocks at a time because it is CRAZY delicious! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Katrina
    August 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm (4 years ago)

    Well I made this tonight… Got big thumbs up from the man. But we think it needs corn kernels next time and I think some capsicum too. But perfect dinner for rainy Melbourne day. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply

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