Get ready for lots of exclamation points and overzealous descriptions of deliciousness.
Because I am SO EXCITED (!!!) to share this recipe with you. This is a recipe that I have been testing for about a month now, and I think I finally got it just right.
This sweet potato noodle dish is basically my take on a slightly lighter version of carbonara. Yes, there is still a cream sauce. Yes, there is still bacon. And cheese. But! We’re subbing the pasta out for sweet potato noodles! AND adding chai spice to our sauce!
See? I’m excited.
It’s no secret by now that I am a huge fan of chai spice. I’ve been putting it in everything lately, most recently in this apple crisp and these chai caramel macchiatos (good LORD, both are so yummy). I find that it’s warming and delicious but not necessarily SWEET. It’s just commonly added to sweet things, which is why a chai cream sauce for a savory dish may be throwing you a little bit here.
I feel ya. But you need to just trust me. This works.
Especially with the flavor of the sweet potatoes! Chai and sweet potatoes just make sense! Adding the flavors of chai to this dish is pure magic. Between the combo of the chai and the bacon (another weird but amazing match – I think it’s the cinnamon!) and the cheese and the sweet potatoes, you really can’t go wrong here.
Everything is delicious, so why can’t it all be delicious together?
(Yes, I realize this logic doesn’t always work. But let’s just go with it for today, shall we?)
The cream sauce here is really the magic. It is spiced and salty and bacony and cheesy and…well, like I said, just magic. It coats the sweet potato noodles beautifully and will make you forget all about regular ol’ pasta.
It is a big bowl of comfort!!! And I am loving it so much right now. Between all the testing I did for this recipe, we ate a version of this probably 3-4 times in the past few weeks, and each time was glorious! This version, however, won out. And here’s why.
I found cooking the sweet potatoes difficult. Not the actual process but getting them juuuuuust right was tricky. They were either mushy and gooey or way too el dente. So! The recipe as written below will get you perfectly tender but not mushy noodles! Cook them in the same pan (not in a separate pot of boiling water) as everything else for the specified time below, and you’ll be good to go!
Which, actually, makes this a one-pot meal! I didn’t even realize that until just now.
All the more reason to make this as soon as you freaking can.
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and spiralized (you can find pre-spiralized veggies at most grocery stores these days)
¾ cup half-and-half
2 whole eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons of the Chai Spice Mix (or more, to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh chives or parsley, for garnish
Additional grated parmesan, for serving
Mix the spices together in a bowl until thoroughly blended.
Crisp the bacon in a medium pot or a large skillet. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium.
To the drippings, add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the sweet potato noodles along with a splash of water and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the noodles are mostly tender.
Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, parmesan cheese, and chai spice mix together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the cream mixture.
Continue to stir and toss everything together for a few minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the noodles.
The idea is for the sauce to be creamy and silky and thoroughly coating the noodles. It may take several minutes of stirring and tossing to achieve this consistency.
Taste and add more salt, pepper, or chai spice mix, as needed.
Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs and additional cheese, as desired.