18 May 2008

Warm Pasta Salad with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Kat over at A Good Appetite has inspired me again. Last week she made a warm pasta salad recipe out of Bon Appetite magazine that looked so good and so easy I decided to make it right away. I made a few changes to the recipe, to reduce the amount since the original served 6 and I substituted some dried herbs de Provence for the fresh herbs. I also used whole wheat pasta instead of white since that is what I always have in the cupboard. The original recipe also called for chicken but since we didn't have any in the fridge, I used some leftover soy protein but you could you any leftover meat or even smoked tofu instead. The sweetness of the caramelized onions balanced the tang of the goat cheese and the white wine tomato sauce was light yet balanced the other flavors perfectly. That, plus the fact that there is more than a serving of veggies in every portion mean that it will be making a reappearance soon.

At Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen 's suggestion, I am submitting this recipe for this months No Croutons Required vegetarian blogging events with the theme 'salads with cheese' hosted by Holler at Tinned Tomatoes. (Recipe after the jump.)

Warm Pasta Salad with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions
Serves 4, Adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine

6 oz. whole wheat pasta (any short shape will do)
1 T. olive oil
1 red onion, cut in half then sliced into thin half moons
1 t. sugar
1 t. white wine vinegar
4 oz. soy protein, or whatever protein you happen to have around (or leave it out completely)
1 C white wine
a pinch of chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 t. herbs de provence
1 bag baby spinach leaves
2 oz. goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste

- Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.

- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onions with a pinch of salt and cook until beginning to brown. Add sugar and vinegar, stir and continue to cook till onions are browned. Set aside.

- In the same skillet brown the soy protein, if using. Set aside.

- In the same skillet, over high heat, reduce the wine by half. Add in the bouillon, tomato and herbs and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cooked and drained pasta, onions and soy protein. Stir and cook for another minute or two. The sauce will be very thin.

- Divide the spinach among 4 plates (or two plates and two tupperwares) and top with the warm pasta. Crumble the goat cheese on top of each plate and add a bit of fresh pepper, if you'd like.

Note: This dish saves pretty well but the pasta will get a little soft if you have it for lunch the next day.


Lisa said...

Anything with goat cheese gets my attention. Very nice. You should submit this to No Croutons required, as the theme this month is salad with cheese. The deadline is the 20th.

Cynthia said...

I would love to eat some of this right now. I am so darn hungry :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jen said...

Lisa- thanks for the head's up on No Croutons Required...

Cynthia- thanks for stopping by.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Um, I really want this for lunch right now! I am crazy for caramelized onions!

kittie said...

caramelized onions and goats cheese?!! Consider my buttons pressed, yum ;)

Ben Dugas said...

I made this tonight and it was really good. Only I didn't use the white wine because I didn't have any and I didn't use the spinach because I was cooking for 8 and it was a quasi potluck and we weren't really doing single portions and so on. Also I added beans.
Regardless, thanks for the recipe.

Jen said...

Glad to hear that you used the recipe for a jumping off point to your own, Ben.