So you know how people always wonder whether they will die in real life if they die in their dreams? Well, last night in one of my dreams, I decided to take my pants off. I’m not sure that there was any logical reason behind it or if it was one of those things that makes sense in the dream at the time but actually has no basis in reality. All I know is that I woke up. Pantsless. Thankfully, I realized this before my roommate woke up and before I decided to leave my room. But it provides evidence for the fact that any dream-induced lethality may in fact translate to real life. So be warned.

Now that I am done with my public service announcement of the day (i.e. be wary of your subconscious…it may be out to kill you), I will move on to bigger and better things. Such as the grandeur notion of love embodied in one single casserole dish. Generally I am not an advocate of using food as a substitute for interpersonal relationships. It can lead to emotional eating, which we can all agree is not usually a good thing. However, given the fact that I will be single (again) this Valentine’s day, I decided that if I can’t get that gushy, dreamy, reach for the stars feeling from another person, I might as well get it from food. And I knew just the recipe that would provide the aforesaid satisfaction: caramelized sweet potato, garlic, and rosemary macaroni and cheese. Can you really ask for a better combination of ingredients? I saw this on a bit ago where it was lauded for being the winner of the Tillamook Mac N Cheese competition. After making it, I fully appreciate why it won. I may never be able to eat any other mac and cheese ever again. I am submitting this to the 100th edition of Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by the pasta-rific founder herself, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast (I really can’t think of a pasta dish better suited for this honor), and also to this month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge, the theme of which is love. This is being hosted by Sara of I Like To Cook. On a less exciting, but still delicious side note, I whipped up some roasted asparagus with parmesan to go with the pasta. Asparagus is an aphrodisiac after all…(Even if it does make your pee smell weird).

Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4, adapted from

5 cloves garlic
1/2 lb sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta
2 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
12 oz almond milk
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp bread crumbs

1. Choose your pasta of choice. I recently ordered some gourmet pastas from Pappardelle’s and decided to use this southwestern blend. This really added some kick and smoky flavor to the pasta which complemented the sweetness of the potatoes really well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the sweet potatoes. Boil with garlic for five minutes. Mash the garlic with a fork and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the sweet potato slices for 5 minutes or until caramelized, flipping every minute or so. Set aside.

4. Boil water and cook pasta.

5. Prepare your cheese sauce. Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, slowly. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute, whisking all the while. Mix in all of the mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp of the parmesan cheese, the salt, pepper and rosemary until the cheese is melted. Mix in the garlic and the sweet potato and pour into pasta.

6. Pour the pasta/cheese/sweet potato/heaven mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining 2 tbsp parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

Serves 4

1 1/2 lb asparagus

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Arrange asparagus on a baking pan. Spray with cooking spray. Top with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Roast 10-15 minutes.

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9 Responses to Love At First Bite: Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese, and Roasted Aparagus with Parmesan Cheese

  1. ttfn300 says:

    holy geez, so much yumminess, FANTASTIC!!!

  2. Ruth Daniels says:

    Looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights big 100 roundup bash. As for dreams…that was quite a spectacular one!

  3. Andrea says:

    That looks and sounds amazing, wow! The gourmet pasta is so neat, I’m going to have to see where I can pick some of that up online, my kids would love it (and I would too!) The roasted asparagus sounds like it was a great side dish with this as well, what a yummy comforting meal.

  4. Natashya says:

    What a great way to have Mac’n’Cheese! I love the pasta – such a neat variety. And that is my all-time favourite way to cook asparagus.
    (Don’t worry, my son (single, an actor) will be 18 this year. I know that sounds young but in 5 or so years the gap won’t seem so much – and I would be thrilled if he married a doctor…) 😉

  5. Joanne says:

    ttfn300 – I’m not going to lie…it was great.

    ruth – I’m excited for the round-up later today and hope for a hundred more presto pastas to come!

    Andrea – This is the website I got it from: . I also ordered a few other varieties that I haven’t tried yet (lime cilantro, sweet potato, roasted onion) but I’m trying to wait until the perfect recipe comes along. It’s tough, though, let me tell you.

    Natashya – Sounds like a plan…in five years if your son and I are still single… 😛
    Thanks (as always) for the comment!

  6. Donna-FFW says:

    Delicious looking mac and cheese. I love the way you cooked the asparagus. THAT looks delectable!

  7. Elra says:

    Wow, there are so many good thing in this mac and cheese. It sounds so delicious.

  8. Joanne says:

    Donna – I loved the roasted asparagus so much, that I made another spin on it this week! Stay tuned for the recipe.

    Elra – Thanks for the comment! I was definitely sad when there was no more left to eat.

  9. Sara says:

    So pretty! Thanks for sending this to me for WCC.

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