Sweet Potato Parmesan Topping
- 4-5 medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 cups button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 10 ounces frozen spinach
- 1 cup water
- For the topping: Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into rough 2-inch chunks. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are very tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Place the pan over low heat and add the butter, brown sugar and salt. Using a fork, mash the potatoes so that they are nearly smooth, and the butter and sugar are fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Make the filling: In a 12-inch saute pan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sweat for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Push onions to edge of pan and force them into a tight mound.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mushrooms to hot pan. Allow them to site and caramelize for about 1 minute. Resist the urge to shake the mushrooms around, as letting them brown will help develop flavor. After 2 minutes, stir together the onions and mushrooms, making sure to scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan.
- Transfer the onion-mushroom mixture to a plate, and add final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a spatula. Season the turkey with the remaining salt, garlic, chipotle powder, paprika, turmeric and cumin. Allow the turkey to brown and the spices to toast for about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the onion mixture, tomato sauce, spinach and water. Let this all cool down until it’s very thick and saucy. Remove from heat.
- Assemble and bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the turkey mixture onto the bottom of a 10-by-12-inch baking dish. Spoon the sweet potato over the top so that it’s in an even layer. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for 1 hour uncovered. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.