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Balsamic Veggies and Pasta

Post work beer with friends? Check.

Delicious new recipe for post happy hour dinner? Check.

When I was messing around with Spark Recipes the other day, I found this recipe for balsamic veggies and pasta.  Last night, after happy hour, I trooped home and broke out the ingredients that I had purchased the other day. I tweaked it just a tiny bit based on what I had in my pantry.



Ingredients:16 oz. Barilla Pasta Plus Penne ; 1 Tbsp olive oi; 1 red onion; chopped; 2 cloves garlic, chopped; 6 Italian tomatoes, diced; 1/4 cup pine nuts;  4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar; 1/2 tsp dried basil, or 2 T fresh basil, chopped; 6 oz. feta, crumbled; 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste; pepper to taste;

My adjustments: I used whole wheat spaghetti, probably only about 3/4 of a small red onion, a healthy tbsp of minced garlic, a can of diced Italian tomatoes (drained)  instead of buying them and cutting them up, 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and 2 tbsp of water. I also didn’t add any salt.

Directions: Prepare sauce while pasta cooks (whole wheat pasta usually takes about 15 minutes to cook). In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic to oil. Saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste (fresh ground pepper is best if you have it). Reduced heat to medium. Add pine nuts and 1/2 cup water, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 4 oz of feta to sauce, stir. Stir in basil at the last minute.

Drain pasta. Return pasta to large pot. Add hot sauce to pasta and mix well.

Random Directions Note: I read in a magazine recently that you should put the pasta into the sauce pan instead of pouring the sauce on top of the pasta and then tossing it. So, I decided to try it. It definitely spread the sauce more evenly through the spaghetti, but the pot I had used for the sauce was a bit small to do it easily.

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