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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 14 2014

Sweet Potato Pasta with Hearty Meat Sauce (No Pasta Needed!)

By Worker Bee
46 Comments

Sweet Potato Pasta SauceYou can never have too many quick and easy meals in your recipe arsenal. If the recipe is family-friendly and likely to please everyone at the table, all the better. If it’s also a one-pot meal that provides all the protein and veggies you need in one sitting, then it’s a real keeper.

Sweet Potato Pasta is just this type of meal. High in protein from ground beef, the dish also contains a healthy and dense source of carbs (sweet potato) and a few brightly colored vegetables (tomatoes and bell pepper). Although you could serve this over zucchini or celeriac “noodles” there’s really no need. Just fill your bowl with sweet potato pasta sauce and dig in.

If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes, you’ll love the quick-cooking trick this recipe reveals. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the potato down into thin strips. Stirred into simmering sauce or broth, the potato cooks quickly and evenly. Adding strands of sweet potato to this simple recipe transforms it from good to really, really delicious.

Servings: 2, with leftovers

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or more bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 12 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (5 ml)
  • 1 pound ground beef (450 g)
  • 1 large or 2 smaller sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 24 to 28 ounces (680 g to 795 g) of your favorite pasta sauce (or crushed tomatoes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs for garnish, if desired

Instructions:

In a deep sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and sauté the onion, bell pepper and mushroom until soft, 5 minutes.

Step 1

Add the ground beef, season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until browned.

Step 2

Once the meat is browned, grab the vegetable peeler and peel thin strips of sweet potato into the skillet until you have about 2 large handfuls of strips. Add more sweet potato strips if you prefer.

Step 3

Pour in the tomato sauce. Mix well, turn the heat down slightly. cover and simmer for 15 minutes. If the sauce seems dry while simmering, add a little water.

Step 4

Serve topped with fresh herbs.

Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

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46 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Pasta with Hearty Meat Sauce (No Pasta Needed!)”

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    1. I disagree. Brick, wood framing, and insulation taste much housier.

    2. I thought we weren’t supposed to have sweet potato on this diet?

      1. “Grok” ate roots. I have read that much of the time it was actually the tribe’s women, gathering roots (and such), that kept everyone going. Meat being a bit tougher to reliably capture. : )

      2. Sweet potatoes are a great source of carbs and nutrients, and I don’t think Mark has ever said not to eat them. Sweet potatoes and other tubers, though, should coincide with your activity levels. If you’re less active, don’t eat them very often; but if you’re doing crossfit or intense work outs, adjust accordingly.

        Hope that clears things up a little. 🙂

        1. I’ve been eating sort of like a bee lately, running on low amounts of carbs except the one’s I need or to get my vitamins. I try to guess how much energy I’ll need to complete a task and if I plan to primarily burn carbs for that task and have empty stomach space I fill up with carbs accordingly.Thus I’m not stuck or chained for immediate low level energy

  1. That looks great. I’ve made a dish similar to that in the past with regular potatoes….never thought to use sweet potatoes.

    1. Mmm, yes, & I might add a few herbs & spices too. Cumin & cilantro maybe? This sounds great! Wish I had ground beef on hand right now…

    2. I definitely did the same thing after tasting it! Garlic & Ground chipotle Chiles. Yum!!

    1. Those King Soba noodles are loaded with carbohydrates; over 50 grams a serving. Almost as much as a serving of rice. If you are watching your carb. intake, I would avoid these.

  2. I have done something very similar tossed with spaghetti squash and I think sweet potato noodles would be awesome. I love having meatballs with sweet potato noodles too. Garlic and cayenne would be a nice addition.

  3. What a wonderful idea! I second the suggestion to add fresh garlic and I would add 1 crushed chipotle pepper for bite and smoky flavor.

    And if I maybe so bold (Consider this is my first post since I’v been following MDA since I went Paleo 3+ years ago) here’s another suggestion for creating linguine like strings out of the sweet potato. Using a chefs knife make close length wise cuts in the S. Potato and only then use the vegetable peeler; just like making Som Tum (green papaya salad).

    In closing, I just want to say that MDA has been an inspiration and a guiding light for me – thank you Mark from across the miles, here in Israel

    P.S I make something similar using grounded Beefheart and green zucchini but the sweet potatoes a nice twist. I am also green with envy, that you have access to free rang raised beef that’s not to be found here.

    1. You can get free range beef. At some small butchers (non kosher) they have beef from Druz villages up north. That is free range. And good meat.

      1. Kosher or there lack of isn’t an issue, as long as it’s clean and sanitary. Are you referring to “Gush Chalav”? If so, to bad as it’s to far from where I am but I will check it out when in the area.

        The recipe yielded a very tasty dish with leftovers (no cooking today…Yeh), since I used close to 3/4 of a pound of meat (from the neck area) and a small basket of mushrooms.

  4. Yeah I’m a tad jealous of those thriving wealthy Californians too, I must admit. It’s probably apparent by now. But at least my little brutal-in-the-winter southern chunk of the Canadian shield or close to it I call home won’t sink into the ocean any time soon. Hah!
    Peppers are supposed to be very high in vitamin C. They might even be the best source. This makes me kind of happy because since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed peppers. In fact, I just swiped two of them today from a shelter. Grokkin’ on like a con…

    1. And soon it’s going to be time to visit my friend in the psyche ward and smuggle in some stuff for him. FTPsychiatrists.

    2. When you sleep outside in the winter are you a: Chilly Con Carne?

      1. No, I’m not a chili (had to look that one up : ) )
        I’m not locked up now though so I guess that makes me an antioxidant… aka a free radical scavenger.

  5. If you have a zoodler, this is the time to use it! Works great on sweet potatoes.

  6. Recipes like this make me glad I live in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Great suggestion for a quick meal (with leftovers)!

    1. Do you have problems with inflammation? If not, nightshades like tomatoes and peppers are fine for human consumption. They have not actually not be clinically proven to cause inflammation problems. People who do avoid them just in case. A little careful research goes a long way.

      1. It’s not just inflammation that causes people to avoid nightshades. They trigger my Psoriasis. Which is a shame, because I love all of them. Oh well, nice skin is worth cutting nightshades out. Between removing sugar, dairy, grains and nightshades, I went from about 60% covered with P to a few spots. Hurrah!!

        1. That is unfortunate. I feel your pain. Half of my garden is made up of nightshades. I would be in trouble if I had problems with them.

        2. Please correct me if I have this wrong… My understanding is that only White potatoes, peppers and tomatoes and eggplant were considered night shades … Not sweet potatoes. Seems like I just read that on another site..

          Worth checking out a little further, eh? Sweet potatoes are sooo nutritious!

        3. Sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades…I love tomatoes tho….I wonder if I cut them out, I can get my P to get better…noting else has tried and I have not heard about tomatoes. Thanks for the idea.

  7. I did something similar yesterday that was just like a bolognese minus the pasta and I am guessing very low carb. it was absolutely delicious.
    didn’t measure the ingredients but just made sure all filled up 3/4 of my wok pan:

    sliced red onions
    sliced mushroom
    fresh green and red chillis
    red bell pepper
    fresh garlic
    tomatoe sauce ( organic passata )
    kale
    spinach
    asparagus
    long stem broccoli
    400 grams of organic lamb mince
    coconut oil
    coconut milk
    heavy cream
    butter
    salt pepper

    Heat up the butter and coconut oil (i am very liberal with the amounts )
    slice all vegetables, fry onions, chilis, garlic, mushrooms until a bit cooked
    add the mince and fry with the vegetables until slightly cooked
    add the bell pepper, broccoli, asparagus and stir.
    add tomatoes sauce, coconut milk and cream ( cream is optional but delicious and only little is needed to give that creamy flavour)
    bring up to simmer for 5-10 minutes
    this should cook the mince nicely without frying it.
    add kale for a minute or two
    when it’s almost done, add spinach and cook for a minute. stir.

    serve with parmesan like you would on pasta ( optional )
    it was so yummy I ate almost all of it in one sitting.
    Have a nap.
    maybe there is a dish like this out there. no idea, i just went with what i had in the fridge.

  8. Mmm… looks like a Macedonian moussaka, but with the potato slices a bit narrower.
    Why people need grotesque pasta substitutes so badly?

  9. I made this dish about an hour ago. It was pretty good. I followed the recipe to the letter since I am not a cook, and do not know what would happen if I just randomly added something that might ruin it. It was easy and turned out pretty good. Not being a cook, I like dishes that have a number of high quality nutrients mixed together. This dish was very tomato-heavy in flavor even though I used 2 large peppers, and a large onion. I always use organic ingredients and grass-fed pastured beef. I am sure others who are as lazy as me will enjoy this.

  10. Never thought to use the vegetable peeler in that way. Been angling for a vegetable peeler/spriraller for some time now in order to make noodles out of squash and sweet potatoes. Peeler may just do the trick in the meantime.

  11. We do the sweet potato strips in the a.m. cooked in bacon grease for a hash. Never thought about using them as a pasta-sub…will have to try! Getting all those strips though is a little time-consumer. I need a zoodler.

  12. I sense that despite the recent guide to resistant starch, carbs in any form other than veg and the odd sweet potato are not really being considered an optimal part of the Primal diet. Even if Soba noodles do have 50g a serving, if you’re aiming for the 100-150 range, they can easily be incorporated even daily and provide some resistant starch too, especially if cooled and reheated. The black rice ones are delicious.

  13. I made this last night and it was awesome! I used grass-fed ground beef and italian pork sausage. Great recipe.

  14. This food doesn’t need many more ingredients than meat loaf and potatoes, but it is so much healthier. A nice recipe to vary up my eating habits.

  15. Just made this yesterday….one of the easiest recipes on this site, its a great cold-weather comfort food.

  16. Korean sweet potato noodles are great. You use them to make the dish which Mark described, but you actually have “pasta”. Koreans call it Japchae.

  17. This recipe was so flavorful! I used red, yellow, and orange bell peppers – which added a little sweeter taste to the sauce. I’d say try it out, my family hates sweet potatoes, but they LOVED dinner last nigh.