prep time: 10 min | cook time: 20 min
- Goat cheese – you can buy regular goat cheese in solid form as well, but it’s easier to sprinkle the crumbles over the pasta instead of try to scrape a bunch of goat cheese pieces into your pasta.
- Red wine – if you don’t drink wine or don’t have it on hand, you can substitute this with beef broth or even water. Just note that the flavor will have a little less depth that the red wine is supposed to lend to it.
makes about 4 servings
- 8 ounces pasta, preferably a long pasta like spaghetti or linguine
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup dry red wine (red blends are fine, just nothing super-sweet)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Few sprigs of basil
- Salt, to taste
- ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles (or more, you do you)
- Rinse and slice mushrooms.
- Peel and mince garlic.
- Chop basil and set aside.
- Measure out pasta.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 1 minute less than the package directions say. Before draining, reserve some pasta water to use in the sauce; I don’t measure out exact amounts but just reserve a cupful of water to the side. (Note: I usually time my pasta cooking so it’s done right around when my sauce is. For this recipe that means dropping them into the boiling water right after the mushrooms are done cooking, but just use your best judgment and cook it whenever is best for you).
- Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and add some olive oil to the pan. When the pan is hot, add mushrooms. Try to get them in a single layer and/or cook in two batches if you need to. Cook without moving the mushrooms until one side is browned, about 5 minutes, then stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the pan over medium-low heat. Add tomato paste and garlic. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to cook high enough so the tomato paste starts sputtering; adjust heat if it seems like it’s cooking too fast.
- Add red wine and let it sizzle out. Sizzle for a minute or two so the alcohol cooks out.Add balsamic vinegar and let it come to a low simmer. Let simmer until reduce and slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until fully melted in.
- When pasta is done cooking, add to pan with sauce. Add mushrooms. Toss until well incorporated.
- Slowly add in reserved pasta water bit by bit while stirring until the pasta develops a consistency you like – it should loosen up the pasta and give it a more sauce-like texture but not drown it in liquid (I only need about a Tablespoon or so).
- Salt to taste until the flavors come alive.
- Top with goat cheese and basil.
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