The version I made of this was severely parred down, as the boything doesn’t like mushrooms, I wasn’t sure about the beets in this, and honestly the pomegranate arils seemed more decorative than anything else. I’m probably going to try this again with the beets and maybe the mushrooms, not real sure about the pomegranate arils. (If anyone has insight on this, please feel free to chime in!)
The resulting pasta was, and is, still pretty amazing, and definitely something I want to try again. Please note below – parentheses used in this recipe will be used to indicate omitted ingredients, or instructions for the omitted ingredients.
Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese Pasta
Makes: pasta. However much you want. Look, it’s been forever since I made this.
- 4 T olive oil (2 T if omitting the beets)
- (4 medium red beets, quartered – omitted)
- ((1 T chopped fresh thyme (substitute dry if you don’t have fresh), omitted bc not using beets)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb long thin pasta (like spaghetti)
- (8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced – omitted)
- 2 T butter
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 c balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 T honey
- .5 t crushed red pepper flakes
- .5 c crumbled goat cheese
- (pomegranate arils for serving – omitted)
(If using the beets – preheat your oven to 350, toss together the olive oil, beets, thyme, sea salt and pepper, put on a baking sheet, and roast for 25 to 30 mins, till tender and lightly charred.)
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted water for the pasta to a boil. Add your pasta, and cook according to package instructions until al dente, and then drain. Just before draining, reserve 1 c of pasta cooking water.
While you wait for the water to boil, melt the butter, and add 2 T olive oil in a pot over high heat. (If using the mushrooms, add them here and cook until just barely caramelizing on the edges, appx 5 mins.) Add the garlic slices like in pic 1, and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove the (mushrooms) and garlic. To the same pot, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes, like in pic 2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then cook for 5-8 mins until the balsamic has reduced by about a third and is sticky to the touch – see pic 3 for the example of this in progress, and pic 4 for what this looks like towards the end. Then, reduce the heat to low and stir in the pasta and garlic(/mushrooms). Toss to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a bit of the pasta cooking water. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta immediately, topped with crumbled goat cheese, (roasted beets, and pomegranate arils).