stuffed sweet potatoes with spinach and bacon

Yeah. I said it: sweet potatoes and bacon. They've officially entered each other's worlds. Yeah. This recipe manages to blend sweet and savory all in one healthy side dish. And for those who love nutmeg, it really adds a lot to this dish. I am not a huge fan of it when it is overdone, but this is the perfect amount to add an earthy, "something-in-the-background" flavor. This would be awesome with a steak or pork.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Bacon
  • 4 sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
  • 4 thick slices of natural bacon or 2 ounces sliced pancetta (about 8 thin slices)
  • Handful of spinach or 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced  
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese  
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Wash, dry, prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once, until crisp, about four minutes. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Increase the heat to medium high; add the spinach and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, about three minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about three more minutes.
  2. Mix the ricotta, Parmesan, and nutmeg to taste in a small bowl. Split open the sweet potatoes lengthwise and fluff the flesh with a fork. Top each with 1/8 of the ricotta mixture, then top evenly with the spinach mixture and the remaining ricotta mixture. Chop the bacon and sprinkle evenly on top.

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