Preheat oven to 350F.
Microwave the sweet potato until soft. Set aside to cool.
Wash and de-stem kale, tear into bite size pieces. Place kale into bowl with sesame oil and massage with your hands until the leaves are evenly coated.
Spread kale onto a cookie sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over top and place into preheated oven.
Cook for 18-20 minutes, stirring half way through. Kale chips are done when they are predominately crunchy. Final cook time will depend on the size of the kale leaves.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
Once sweet potato has cooled, peel and mash with fork until most of the lumps are gone. No need to have it be perfect here. Set aside.
Heat a large pan over medium-low heat and add the butter and olive oil.
Once butter is melted, add garlic. Stir for 1 minute.
Add flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, until butter and flour have combined and started to turn a light golden brown.
Add milk and mashed sweet potato. Stir to combine. It will take a bit of stirring for the sauce to come together here. There may still be some lumps of sweet potato, no need for concern.
Once combined, let mixture simmer until it thickens, usually 3-4 minutes. Thickening can occur quickly. If it becomes too thick, add a bit more milk.
Turn heat down to low. Add cheese, pepper, and remaining salt. Stir to combine.
Add cooked pasta and stir until evenly coated by sauce.
Serve topped with kale chips.
*Any flour will do if you don't have whole wheat
*We enjoy spaghetti and fusilli pastas, but choose your favorite. High protein and iron pastas like Banza or lentil pastas work great here to add a little extra nutrition.
*Any hard cheese or combo of hard cheeses will do
Adaptations for Babies
-Remove some sauce prior to adding salt. Toss with a bit of pasta, ensuring that pasta is soft enough to squish between two fingers. A chickpea or lentil pasta is best for babies here to provide an iron source.
-Kale chips can be served, provided you ensure that they are crispy enough that they disintegrate into small flecks when crumbled between fingers. Pay close attention to the center of the leaves as that tends to be softer than the edges.