Pic of Sweet potato and sage orecchiette with mushroom crumbs

Sweet potato and sage orecchiette with mushroom crumbs

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Vegetarian mains

Sweet potato and sage orecchiette with mushroom crumbs

Main Serves 2 45 min
Orecchiette are a small pasta shape, literally translated as 'little ears'. Use another short pasta shape if you can't find it.

Cook's notes

If you like (and have time), fry some of the smaller sage leaves in a little hot oil in a frying pan before you cook this recipe and use them as an extra garnish.


  • 500g sweet potato
  • oil for frying and roasting
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g orecchiette (or other short) pasta
  • 25g rocket leaves (or use watercress)
  • 8 good-sized sage leaves
  • 25g dried breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • 25g Parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • salt and pepper
Image of Sweet potato and sage orecchiette with mushroom crumbs


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 5. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 2cm chunks. Toss them in a non-stick baking tray or dish in just enough oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until just tender. Once the sweet potato goes in the oven, put a large pan of well-salted water on to boil.
  • Step 2

    Put the capers in a mug and cover with cold water. Leave them to soak – this removes some of the saltiness from the brine they come packed in. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp piece of kitchen paper or clean cloth. Finely dice them. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely grate the zest from half the lemon. Wash the rocket leaves and leave to drain.
  • Step 3

    Once the pan of water comes to the boil, add the orecchiette pasta and cook for 11-12 minutes, until cooked to al dente (just soft, with a little bite). Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from sticking together. Once the sweet potato has roasted, remove and keep to one side. Drain the capers. Chop them up a little. Finely shred the sage leaves.
  • Step 4

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms and sage and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs and stir-fry on a low-ish heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest. Season with a little salt and pepper and remove to a bowl. Add the pasta, sweet potato, capers and rocket to the same frying pan or large saucepan with a splash of olive oil.
  • Step 5

    Toss together with the cheese and half the mushroom crumbs and gently heat to warm the pasta and slightly wilt the rocket. Check the seasoning. Divide the pasta between two serving bowls and sprinkle over the remaining mushroom crumbs.

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