Sweet Potato Lasagna with Kale and Pancetta

Thinly sliced sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to lasagna noodles. If you have a mandolin slicer, slicing uniform sweet potato “noodles” is a breeze. White sweet potatoes are a bit starchier than orange sweet potatoes and hold up better during cooking. If you can’t find white sweets, using orange ones is fine.

Prep time 30 minutes
Serves 6

4 ounces (115 g) diced pancetta or bacon
1 small bunch kale (5 to 8 ounces, or 140 to 225 g), leaves removed from their stems and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large white sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons (36 g) pine nuts
4 cups (1 kg) Basic Marinara

1 Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until it begins to render some fat. Add the kale to the skillet and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until kale is wilted and the pancetta is cooked through and slightly crispy. Remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside.

2 Peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick rounds.

3 Toast pine nuts by putting them in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the pine nuts begin to brown slightly and become fragrant. They burn easily, so keep a close eye on them!

4 Begin layering the lasagna by spreading 1/2 cup (125 g) of marinara in the bottom of a 4- or 6-quart (3.8 or 5.7 liter) slow cooker. Place a single layer of sweet potatoes over the sauce. Place one third of the kale-pancetta mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pine nuts on top and then another 1/2 cup (125 g) of marinara. Repeat layering two more times (layer of potatoes, one third of the kale, 1 tablespoon of pine nuts, 1/2 cup [125 g] of sauce). Pour the remaining sauce on top of the lasagna.

5 Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Lasagna is finished cooking when you can stick a butter knife into the layers of potatoes without resistance and everything is heated through.

6 Serve hot.