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Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Kale (with Sage Breadcrumbs)

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  • Yield: Serves 8 1x



For the Mac and Cheese:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, skins removed (about 2 cups mashed)
  • 1 lb whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed, roughly chopped (about 5 cups packed)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For the Sage Breadcrumbs:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter


For the mac and cheese:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places and place in oven to bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat broiler and adjust oven rack toward the top of the oven.
  3. Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add kale and toss to coat. Add 1/3 cup water and cover for about 5 minutes. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, stir kale and sauté until water has evaporated and kale is slightly wilted, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add flour, cayenne pepper, and dry mustard, and whisk until it thickens, forming a roux, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue whisking until milk reaches a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk the milk until it begins to thicken (to the consistency of heavy cream), about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in the sweet potato. Using an immersion blender, blend the sweet potato until smooth. Whisk in cheese. Stir in kale and elbow macaroni. Season with salt, to taste.
  7. Transfer pasta to a baking dish and top with sage breadcrumbs. Place baking dish under the broiler until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.

For the Sage Breadcrumbs:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix breadcrumbs and sage. Add melted butter and toss to combine.