Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells with Sage and Walnut Pesto, in a Miso/White Bean Sauce

I think this is the most frequently I’ve posted since starting Dear Guts. I’ve been trying to distract myself, from myself, lately. Usually that entails a lot of lying in front of my stereo, with my feet in the air, shuffling through the same 5 songs. It has also included a lot of wearing shirts to bands I’ve never heard of/don’t like, keeping my real attractions underground, nearly a disguise. I’ve also been eating a lot of food I’ve found in the trash; at least 70% of what I’ve eaten in the past week has been found in various garbages and all are things I have never and would never pick out for myself. It’s like being in a sensory deprivation tank, being this unfamiliar to yourself, and allows you to figure some things out while completely messing up a bunch of other things because you feel so far removed. This has all been unintentional, I have no reason to hide, but I still can’t help but connect the dots while repeating the familiar Talking Heads song ‘and you may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house’, staring in the mirror, nodding. zucc-10I found this package of jumbo shells in the trash the other day, unopened and not expiring for another year. I’m not really into pasta, it definitely doesn’t get me off, but I still couldn’t not grab it. When I got home and stocked my pantry, I was like “oh great look at this big responsibility I have to deal with now” haha. At the same moment, standing in the pantry, I saw some sweet potatoes getting more and more embarrassing by the day. I told my trusting boyfriend last month to buy me a ton of sweet potatoes because “I have plans” but due to the heat, they sprouted almost immediately. So I did what I do best and ignored them. It got to a point where if anyone was in my apartment and saw them, they’d be like “oh dear god what are they doing with those sweet potatoes” and think we’re crazy but be glad we mostly keep to ourselves.

Kiefer and I both left the alleys with a good amount of food that night…We were supposed to be watching a movie, as that’s what you do on movie nights, but I was like “no way, I’m way too out of my mind right now, watching a movie sounds exhausting”, so we went for a walk instead. I stupidly didn’t bring a bag, but luckily we immediately stumbled upon this one and, later, this suitcase for us to carry our loot home in. And, man, if you think you’re out of your mind now, try carrying a floral suitcase filled with 8 jars of peanut butter. zucc-7I have a lot of zucchini posts coming up because, out of the ground, I happen to have a lot of zucchini coming up. I paired it with the Miso/White Bean Sauce again (as I did in this post: Zucchini in a White Bean & Miso Sauce with Ginger-Crusted Shrimp and Pea Shoots) totally unintentionally. I guess I just think they’re a match made in heaven, much like my cat and a straight jacket.  The white bean sauce stands to be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made; it’s better than the best. As usual, I’m discontent with the pictures I got but at least my only excuse ever is that I have no idea what I’m doing.

This dish is a pretty big contrast to the season, but like usual, I just create recipes using what I have on hand and this time it happened to be a bunch of fucked up, lonely sweet potatoes. Before serving, I drizzled the final product with reduced balsamic (turned about 1 cup into 1/4 cup) and it was, oof, nice.

zucc-1

Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells with Sage and Walnut Pesto, in a Miso/White Bean Sauce

ingredients

1 box jumbo shells pasta

1 large sweet potato

1 large zucchini

1 cup sage

1/4 cup olive oil (+/-)

1/4 cup walnuts

4 cloves garlic

White Bean Sauce from this post

Cook the shells according to the instructions on the box, running cold water over them afterwards to stop them from overcooking.

Peel the sweet potato and cut into very small pieces, almost diced. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and saute the sweet potatoes for ~5 minutes or until lightly cooked.

Preheat oven to 350. Grate the zucchini and salt it with a decent amount, ~1 tsp salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then drain using a cheesecloth/metal strainer. I’m able to get over a cup of water out.

In a food processor, blend the sage, walnuts and garlic. In a light stream, slowly add olive oil until desired consistency. Salt and peeeeeepper.

Mix the potatoes and drained zucchini with the sage/walnut pesto. Fill the pasta shells pretty full with this mixture and stuff them tightly into an oiled cake pan. Cover with miso/white bean sauce thoroughly. Cover with tin foil and bake ~25-30 minutes. Top with reduced balsamic vinegar and, if you have them, zucchini blossoms to be sure to impress.

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