Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How do you make a sweet potato into pasta?

For my column this week, I wrote about Dustin Wigglesworth and Joseph Siccardi, two Johnson & Wales University students who had made a dish at a recent S&D Coffee contest that used sweet potato pasta.

Seriously, the pasta is as simple as it gets. While I watched them make it, I gave a try to making a video showing them making it. Dustin and Joseph are students, and when it comes to video, so am I:  I lost a little bit of the video in the middle and had to fill in with still pictures. But I think you'll get the idea.

The recipe is so simple, it's not really a recipe: Just cut sweet potato into very thin strips using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline. If you want it to look more like pasta, trim the edges straight. Then saute the strips in about 1/4 cup butter for 2 or 3 minutes. Add a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt. Remove the strips from the skillet with tongs and use the leftover butter to saute something to top the pasta.

But if it helps, here's the original recipe that inspired them, from Atlanta chef Richard Blais.

Potato "Linguine" With Conch and White Wine

From "Try This at Home," by Richard Blais (Clarkson Potter, $30). Blais originally made this on an episode of "Top Chef" that involved catching and cooking conch on a beach. Instead of simmering their strips of sweet potato in broth and butter, Dustin and Joseph used butter only, although they sometimes add a little chicken broth if the butter cooks away too quickly.

3 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh conch, minced, or 1 1/2 cups chopped, shucked cherrystone or whole small white clams
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs

Using a mandoline or a very sharp long knife (or a sharp vegetable peeler), cut the potatoes lengthwise into long, thin sheets (as thin as possible -- ideally, you should be able to see through them). Stack the slices a few at a time and cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.

Pour the chicken stock into a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and butter and cook until the potatoes begin to absorb the stock, about 4 minutes. Add the conch, oregano and chiles and cook until the potatoes are al dente and most of the stock is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the wine and toss the potatoes gently until it evaporates. Stir in the parsley.

Divide the "linguine" among four warmed shallow bowls. Squeeze some lemon juice over each bowl and top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Serve immediately.


Michael Winslow said...

I have someone on my FB (went to Culinary School with) that actually made Sweet Potato pasta, ran it through the pasta maker and all