Rotini With Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts And Tomatoes
This is a quick, easy pasta dish that packs plenty of flavor. The combination of the sweet, just-softened tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and a splash of balsamic vinegar offsets the tangy, creamy goat cheese perfectly. Be sure to allow the pasta to cool slightly as the goat cheese tastes best if it isn't completely melted.
- 1 lb rotini (or penne)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1-1/2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups crumbled goat cheese
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Heat about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toss to coat with oil. Cook until they turn golden brown and release a toasted, nutty aroma. Watch them very carefully ~ they can burn in a matter of seconds! Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and add the onion. Cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft and barely golden in color, 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and continue cooking just long enough for the tomatoes to soften slightly, 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Combine with the onion-tomato mixture and toss to combine well. Add the parsley and reserved pine nuts, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Set aside for 5 to 7 minutes to cool slightly. Add the crumbled goat cheese, toss gently and serve.
Makes 4 servings