Thursday, July 24, 2014

Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts

Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts

Why does it seem that there is an inverse relationship between the flavor of a dish and how photogenic it is or is not?

In all truth, according to my calendar, I was supposed to be sharing some spinach enchilada pasta with you.  Because, seriously, is there a more un-photogenic food than enchiladas?  So enchilada pasta surely is the answer, yes?  In case you were wondering, no, pasta isn’t always the answer.  You are definitely not seeing spinach enchilada pasta today because it definitely was not very pretty.  And the cheese gave me trouble, but that’s a different story.  So back to the drawing board on that one.

However, if you have to settle, settling on this Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts is so, so, SO worth it.  And even though it’s not the prettiest of dishes, the flavor will make you a believer anyway. 

Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts

This is one of those meals where I wanted something quick and simple but super flavorful. Balsamic vinegar is my go-to when those are the parameters for a meal and this one is a major winner.  The sweet toasted garlic pairs perfectly with the tangy balsamic vinegar.  Then you get a little added crunch (and tons of flavor) from the pine nuts, with a little topping of Parmesan cheese.  And it’s all ready in 20 minutes!

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Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts

Yield: 2 (as a main); 4 (as a side)

Total Time: 20 min

A super simple 20-minute weeknight pasta recipe with a flavorful balsamic sauce, toasted garlic and pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.


1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 shallot, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 ounces pasta
2 ounces shredded Parmesan


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat half of the olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic and shallots. Stir frequently until the garlic is golden brown and the shallots are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and pine nuts, stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta and stir in the remaining olive oil and the Parmesan.

Cassie's Notes:
I loved this pasta as-is, but if you are serving it as a main dish, grilled shrimp or chicken would be a perfect addition for added protein.

Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts


22 Responses to “Balsamic Pasta with Toasted Garlic & Pine Nuts”

  1. #
    Tom @ Raise Your Garden — July 24, 2014 @ 6:09 am

    If I have to settle? There is not settling here. I love this balsamic pasts. I love the pine nut addition. Yes everyone has some version of this but you have some nice variations that are worth trying.

  2. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — July 24, 2014 @ 6:38 am

    This is such a yummy pasta!! Loving this recipe 🙂

  3. #
    Lori — July 24, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    I think your photo’s look good, and I can tell the pasta is flavorful!

  4. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — July 24, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

    I may have to make this for supper tonight! Love the flavors!

  5. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — July 25, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    This looks absolutely incredible! I will definitely be making this very soon!

  6. #
    Kristen — July 25, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    Holy cow, Cassie… this looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it!

  7. #
    Rachel Cooks — July 25, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

    I’m pretty much sold on ANYTHING with toasted pine nuts. This looks phenomenal!

  8. #
    Mona — July 25, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

    My mouth is watering! How much shallots should be used? I dont see it listed in the ingredients, but maybe I missed it because I’m so hungry I can’t think straight. Anyway, I can’t wait to try this!

    • Cassie replied: — July 25th, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

      Hi Mona, thank you for the reminder! I noticed yesterday while looking on my phone I missed it – it’s just one small shallot, small diced. I’ll add it now. Enjoy! C.

  9. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — July 25, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

    I hate when delicious meals are un-photogenic! But I believe that this tastes great, how could it not with all that goodness?

  10. #
    ZazaCook — July 26, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

    Wow, it looks so delicious! And your photos are fantastic!

  11. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — July 27, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    I’m a believer–this sounds fabulous!

  12. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — July 28, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    Well, I think it’s pretty, that’s for sure! And I bet this is SO good…the type of dinner that we love around here!

  13. #
    Joanne — July 29, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    It really is true that the less photogenic a food is, the more delicious it is! I want a big bowl of this!

  14. #
    latest health tips — July 30, 2014 @ 6:19 am

    Yummy!! I can’t wait gonna to try this.

  15. #
    Katharine — August 19, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    I’m a bit confused there appear to be mushrooms in the photos on here as well as on Oh My Veggies where I got the link from (their own photo of your dish)
    Can someone confirm how much mushrooms and where they fit into the cooking process?

  16. #
    Pierce Morgan — January 2, 2015 @ 8:32 pm

    Yummy! My mouth is watering after reading your recipe. Tonight I will be having the dish on my table for dinner. I’m moving to market to buy the stuff to prepare the recipe. Thanks for Fabulous and delicious food option.

  17. #
    Ryan — February 11, 2016 @ 5:27 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was really good! The pine nuts, shallot, and garlic really make this dish!

  18. #
    Angela — August 15, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

    Couldn’t find pine nuts. Added tofu and the kids even liked it.


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