Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Bursting with flavour, this sweet potato pasta with crispy prosciutto makes a great option for a quick family dinner.

sweet potato penne pasta with crispy prosciutto adn sauteed spinach leaves served in a large blue casserole pot.

AD: This post is sponsored by the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute. All opinions are my own.

This year I’m focusing on healthier family recipes, that are quick to prepare and loaded with veggies.

Needless to say, my little Italian family loves pasta, and we eat it on a regular basis, so I always try to come up with new creative recipes to make dinner time a little more exciting.

This pasta recipe delivers a welcomed veggie-boost whilst not sacrificing on flavour. You might be surprised, but sweet potato and pasta go so well together! The addition of sauteed spinach and crispy prosciutto deliver a well-balanced dish packed with flavours that will make your tastebuds rejoice!

The best part is that this super simple meal comes together easily in just about 20 minutes, making it a perfect last-minute dinner.

As an added bonus, you can easily customize it by adding extra veggies or skipping the prosciutto for a vegetarian version, I’ll leave you some of my favourite options at the end of the post.

Ingredients Tips

In typical Italian fashion, you basically need just four main ingredients, plus some chopped onion, baby spinach and extra-virgin olive oil.

Choose your ingredients wisely, quality is the key here!

recipe ingredients: cubed sweet potato on a wood board, yellow onion, penne pasta in a small bowl, Parma ham slices on a plate, spinach leaves in a small bowl.

Pasta

Most pasta shapes will go well with this veggie-packed filling. Penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, fusilli are some great options, you can even opt for fresh pasta if you like.

My only recommendation is to use high-quality pasta for the best result.

Whenever possible, go for bronze-cut pasta made in Italy (Gragnano pasta is my favourite option), which is slightly coarser than usual commercial pasta. Its unique texture makes it the best vehicle for a great sauce.

Prosciutto

When making this sweet potato pasta, don’t skip the Parma prosciutto. Thin strips of Parma ham sauteed until crispy give this simple pasta an extra layer of flavor. If you like, you can also substitute it with regular cooked ham, and if you want to make a vegan pasta version, simply skip it.

Sweet Potato

American sweet potatoes are extremely versatile and are packed with oh-so-good-for-you nutrients, which means they can turn any recipe healthier in a blink.

From fries and sandwich toast to mash and desserts, there are tons of ways to lighten up a recipe using American sweet potatoes. And this pasta is a fantastic example.

Cubed sweet potato stir-fried to perfection, combine just amazingly well with umami-rich crispy prosciutto and hearty sauteed spinach.

A quick and easy pasta recipe in 4 simple steps

This delicious and quick dinner recipe is super simple to prepare in just 4 easy steps.

recipe instructions collage of 4 steps: 1 image shows crispy strips of prosciutto in a skillet, 2 image shows cubed sweet potatoes and minced onion in a skillet, 3 image shows penne pasta cooked in a pot of boiling water, 4 image shows sauuted cubed sweet potato, spinach leaves and crispy strips of prosciutto in a skillet.

Step 1 – Pan-fry the Prosciutto

Heath a skillet over medium heat, add in the thin strips of Parma ham and cook them for about 3 minutes, until crispy on all sides, then set them aside.

Step 2 – Stir-fry the sweet potatoes

Add the cubed sweet potatoes and onion into the skillet and stir-fry them for 5 minutes, until they’re crispy around the edges and the potatoes have slightly softened.

Step 3 – Cook the pasta

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta al dente, about 9-10 minutes for penne.

Step 4 – Add spinach into the skillet

Add the spinach into the skillet with the other veggies, and cook all ingredients for about 2 minutes. Then add in the crispy prosciutto and turn the heat off.

Mix everything together and serve

Drain the pasta, add it into the pan with the vegetables and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Season generously with freshly cracked black pepper – et-voila, this delicious pasta is all ready to hit your dinner table.

sweet potato penne pasta with crispy prosciutto adn sauteed spinach leaves served in a blue plate.

Extra veggies, protein, and spices

This quick pasta dish is extremely versatile, so you can easily customize it by adding extra ingredients if you like, these are some great options:

  • Baby kale or mushrooms – sauteed with the sweet potato
  • Pancetta, bacon or ham – finely chopped and stir-fried until crispy
  • Red chili flakes – for a little heat

More quick pasta recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment and/or a rating below, and share a picture and tag @thepetitecook on Instagram! Reading your feedback and looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

5 from 2 votes

Bursting with flavour, this sweet potato pasta with crispy prosciutto makes a great option for a quick family dinner.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Pasta

Cuisine: Italian

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 thin slices of Parma Ham cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion finely minced
  • 1 American sweet potato about 250 g, peeled and finely cubed
  • 370 g penne pasta
  • 80 g baby spinach leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add in the thin strips of prosciutto and let them cook for about 3 minutes, until they’re crispy on all sides. Remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat, add in the extra-virgin olive oil followed by the sweet potato and onion, and cook the vegetables until the sweet potato cubes have slightly softened and are crispy around the edges. Add a splash of water if the vegetables begin to brown too much.
  • Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Lightly season with sea salt, then add the pasta and let it cook for about 7-9 minutes.
  • Look at the instructions on your pasta packaging. See how long it tells you to boil it for, and drain the pasta three minutes before this time to have it al dente.
  • Add the spinach into the skillet with the vegetables, and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add in the crispy prosciutto and turn the heat off. Adjust seasoning by adding a pinch of sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Drain the pasta al dente, add it to the pan with the vegetables and sauté all the ingredients for one more minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, season the pasta with freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Notes

Storage tips:
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Ingredient tips:

Customize this easy pasta recipe by adding extra ingredients if you like, these are some great options:

  • Baby kale or mushrooms – sauteed with the sweet potato
  • Pancetta, bacon or ham – finely chopped and stir-fried until crispy
  • Red chili flakes – for a little heat

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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