- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 1 large eggs
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded, divided)
- 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped, plus more for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon dried sage (rubbed)
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (divided)
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 3/4 cup milk (or more as needed)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 sweet onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake the sweet potatoes until tender, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the ground pork, egg, 1/2 cup of cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, sage, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Form the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs, arranging them on a plate or platter.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer, making sure they’re not touching, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- Scoop the flesh from the sweet potatoes, place it in a food processor and pulse a few times. Slowly add the half and half and milk, processing until smooth. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet, place it over medium heat, and warm the butter and 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the sweet potato mixture, black pepper, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the sauce is thickened and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk as needed. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cheese. Add the rigatoni, stirring until it’s heated through.
- Serve the pasta topped with the meatballs and garnished with chopped parsley.