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