When I'm trying to figure out how to make dinner out of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry, one meal I always fall back on is that of carbs topped with whatever protein and vegetables we have. Following the holidays, I've been looking to kick my white flour habit by subbing in sweet potatoes as my carbohydrate of choice. This vegetarian version, with its sweetly-spiced tomato sauce made hearty with chickpeas, is my family's favorite combo to date.
This meal comes together pretty quickly on a weeknight, but it can also be made entirely ahead and reheated. With my current captivation with sweet potatoes, I've taken to baking several spuds all together on a sheet pan on Sunday and keeping them refrigerated for quick meals throughout the week. The tomato sauce also just gets better and better after some time in the fridge.
Sweet Potatoes with Chickpea Tomato Sauce
4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until very tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the chickpea tomato sauce. Combine the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, bay leaves, cinnamon, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces to the consistency of salsa, about 30 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer until the chickpeas are warmed, about 2 minutes.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the bottom intact. Create a pouch for the filling by gently push the ends of the sweet potato toward each other. Remove the bay leaves from the tomato sauce and fill each sweet potato with sauce. Serve warm.
Make-Ahead Steps: You can bake the sweet potatoes and/or make the chickpea tomato sauce ahead of time and reheat before serving.
To make vegan, omit the butter and double the olive oil.