Spicy Balsamic Pasta

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 11.57.47 AM.pngThis was never a recipe I intended to write about, but I’ve become obsessed with it as a go to quick dinner. The first time I made it it was sort of a lazy, everything but the kitchen sink, busy weeknight meal. I had a frozen mushroom mix from Trader Joe’s and figured I’d throw it into some pasta with flavors that might work okay together. I included my pasta staples: garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper, and started to cook the mushrooms. As I was waiting for the water to boil and mushrooms were starting to stick to the pan, I threw in some balsamic vinegar to add some liquid without overdoing it on the oil. It ended up reducing down so nicely and when I threw the pasta and arugula (another pasta staple of mine) in I realized I had no parmesan. Instead I threw in some shredded pepper jack and that ended up being one of my favorite parts. I’d never thought to use it in pasta but combined with the other flavors it gave it a great kick.

This has been kind of disjointed, but I’ve perfected this recipe over time:

  1. Boil water and cook any short cut pasta.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook on medium low until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add mushrooms, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar. Cook on low until the balsamic is reduced.
  6. Pour slightly undercooked pasta and a bit of pasta water into the skillet.
  7. Once coated and reduced add shredded pepper jack and arugula. Continue cooking on low until cheese is melted.

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