I love getting rid of things. I'm always hauling bags of clothes to the resale shop. I love the feeling of using the last drop of shampoo and getting to do away with the bottle. And I absolutely love using up things in my refrigerator.
I had a Ziploc full of Spring Mix that I ambitiously took to work with me, intending on eating it with my leftover lamb and parsnip puree - um, that didn't happen. I didn't want to waste the tender little leaves, and I had been wanting to try incorporating Spring greens into a pasta dish for awhile. I also had about a half a small log of herb goat cheese left, and when I realized I could make something pretty stellar really quickly, without a trip to the store, I knew it was meant to be.
The onion was sort of an afterthought, although it too was begging to be put in something. I thought that caramelizing it, then deglazing the pan with red wine until it soaked into onions seemed like a good idea (I defy you to find a time when adding red wine is NOT a good idea!).
Dinner came together in a flash, and it ended up being super yummy. I am definitely going to have to put this simple dish in my regular pasta rotation (rotini-ation? Um, no.).
WHOLE WHEAT ROTINI IN A GOAT CHEESE-RED WINE SAUCE
2 cups cooked (al dente) whole wheat rotini
1/2 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
large handful mixed salad green and/or spinach leaves
about 3 oz. goat cheese (I used herb chevre)
1/2 c. red wine
1 and 1/3 c. crushed tomatoes (about, just eyeball it)
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Have the cooked pasta ready. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Cook the onions, seasoning with a little salt and pepper, until nicely browned. Add the wine and stir until it has almost, but not quite, evaporated and soaked into the onions.
Add the crushed tomatoes, salt to taste, and red pepper flakes, and reduce heat to medium. Stir in the goat cheese, mixing until it has melted into the sauce. Keep the heat moderate, so the cheese doesn't separate.
Add the cooked pasta and the greens. Cover and cook for about 3-4 more minutes, until the pasta is hot and the greens have wilted slightly. Serve and enjoy!
I rarely allow myself to have seconds, but I just couldn't help myself with this one. If you're a goat cheese fan, you need to make this immediately. If you wanted to make it meaty, I'd throw in Italian sausage. If you want to use spinach, that would be good too, although I liked how the Spring Mix really stood up to the sauce - spinach tends to wilt down to nothing in a flash; the greens held up and had a bit more of a bite to them.
This was a great example of how you don't have to have a lot of ingredients to make something great - it doesn't have to be complicated to be good. An ingredient enthusiast myself, I sometimes forget that, and find myself adding things to dishes when they would really be best kept simple.
Thanks for reading! More soon.