- 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound large shells
- 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
- 1/4 cup white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon brown or granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
- furikake rice seasoning, for garnish
Miso is a fermented soybean paste that's rich in umami, making it the perfect unexpected addition to any pasta or salad dressing. In this recipe, miso paste is the star of the show, balancing the naturally sweet flavor of sweet potatoes, transforming the iconic dish that is mac and cheese into an elevated adult version with a touch more pizazz. I love this recipe because it comes together quickly, yet still feels special. The dish is finished with toasted breadcrumbs and chives along with furikake, a Japanese rice condiment which is composed of toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, herbs, salt and fish flakes. You’re going to love it.
Technique Tip: Poking holes in the sweet potatoes before cooking will allow air to escape and prevent the sweet potatoes from exploding.
Swap Option: Feel free to use ghee instead of butter and pecorino instead of Parmesan. Pecorino is saltier than Parmesan so keep that in mind. If you can't find furikake, combine ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds and ¼ cup finely chopped seaweed snacks.
Using a fork, poke holes in sweet potatoes on all sides. Wrap each potato in a damp paper towel and place in the microwave. Cook for 6 minutes, turning halfway through, or until the flesh is tender. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, peel the potatoes and roughly chop.2.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.3.
In a high-powered blender or food processor, grind the Parmesan cheese into a fine powder.4.
Add half of the butter into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the miso and sugar and stir until combined into a saucy paste. Slowly whisk in the milk until the miso and butter emulsify. Add in the sweet potatoes and blend until smooth using an immersion blender. Alternatively, you may transfer the mixture to a high-powered blender.5.
Add the cooked pasta to the saucepan with the sauce. Add a splash of reserved pasta water, followed by a handful of Parmesan cheese, alternating back and forth until the cheese has melted and the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste.6.
Melt the remaining butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.7.
Divide pasta among bowls. Top with breadcrumbs, chives and furikake.
Try this classic and cozy mac and cheese recipe — with a twist!Feb. 22, 202304:16
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