Before I started eating Paleo there was this pasta dish I loved. It was made from sausages that had been squeezed out of their skins, the meat cooked until golden and crispy. I’d add in some veggies if I felt like it and then tumble in freshly boiled pasta and lots and lots of Parmesan cheese and loads of butter. It was heavenly. And lately, now the evenings are getting darker and colder, I started craving it again.
A hearty and warming one-pot meal with spiralized sweet potatoes, pork and herbs. Autoimmune protocol (AIP) compliant, paleo and dairy-free.
So I set out to create a Paleo version. Out went the pasta which made way for spiralized sweet potatoes. I know that veggie ‘pasta’ has received a bit of negative comment lately (the main complaint seems to be that it doesn’t have the taste or texture of pasta, which I’m surprised actually came as a surprise) but if you’re swapping a portion of white starch for one of your five a day then that’s a good thing, I think.
Next to go were the supermarket sausages. Instead, I just use pork mince for a chunkier texture and then add in the ‘sausagey’ flavours like sage, mace, and garlic. And then there’s the bacon which gives it a salty smokiness. And with the pork, spices, sage, and sweet potato this dish tastes a lot like autumn to me.
You could add in more vegetables, if you like – chopped leeks or mushrooms would be perfect. Or use spiralized butternut squash or parsnips as the noodles instead. The crispy sage added at the end finishes everything off. Frying it until crisp and dark gives it an intense, earthy flavour that works so well alongside the other ingredients. And if you eat dairy (and aren’t on strict AIP), feel free to scatter with grated Parmesan cheese. Or add a spoonful of butter to the pan in the last few minutes of cooking to give a richer flavour.
This dish is fully autoimmune protocol (AIP) compliant, dairy-free, and Paleo. And it’ll be ready in about half an hour making it a cosy weeknight meal. Oh, and if you don’t have a spiralizer don’t worry. Just shave long peelings of the sweet potato with a potato peeler, to make long, pappardelle-like strips. A quick, hearty, one-pan meal for 2. Leftovers are gorgeous heated up for breakfast too.
So here it is. Sweet potato sausage Paleo ‘pasta’. I hope you like it.
- 8 large fresh sage leaves (4 for the topping and 4 for the pork)
- 3 tsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil
- 3 rashers smoked, streaky bacon, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 300g pork mince
- quarter teaspoon ground mace
- pinch of salt
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized (or 'peeled' into strips)
- First, make the crispy sage leaves. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a large frying pan and wash and dry the sage leaves. Lay four of them in the pan gently, frying for about a minute each side, until darkened and crisp. Lift out with tongs and place them on a plate.
- In the now sage-flavoured oil, add the chopped bacon and fry, stirring, until golden and just beginning to turn crisp. Add the garlic and onion and continue to cook until tender. Push the onion-bacon mixture to one side of the pan and add the pork mince. Stir, breaking up the mince and cooking it well. Once it's well-browned, sprinkle in the mace and quickly chop the remaining fresh sage leaves and stir them into the pork mixture. Season with a pinch of salt. Once the pork mixture is thoroughly cooked, tip it out into a bowl and put to one side for a couple of minutes, while you cook the sweet potato noodles.
- To make the sweet potato noodles (or 'swoodles'), add the remaining 2 tsp coconut oil to the pan you cooked the pork in. Once the oil is hot, tip in the sweet potato strips or spirals, and stir-fry for about one minute. Pour in a splash of water from the kettle - the steam will help the sweet potato to cook quicker. Continue to stir-fry. Once the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, tip in the cooked pork mixture and combine well.
- Serve the sweet potato and pork mixture with a couple of the crispy sage leaves on top. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you like and season with a touch of salt.