Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pasta with Roasted Green Beans and Balsamic Butter Sauce

If I've learned anything during my four+ years of marathon training, it's that motivation may not always come to you the morning of a long run.  Once or twice a training season, I'll wake up in the morning with no desire to lace up my shoes and go for a three-and-a-half hour run!  It could be the weather, my attitude, my level of exhaustion...all I know is that I was slated to run 20 miles this morning and as soon as I woke up I knew it so wasn't going to happen!  The dreary, cloudy weather makes me want to brew another cup of coffee and cuddle with the kitties on my sofa instead.  Knowing that physical and mental breaks are an important part of any successful training (as long as they are kept in check!), I'm postponing my long run to next week.  Plenty of time before the Fargo Marathon!  But because I made a killer pasta dish last night and I don't want to waste the carbs, I will run later today.  For like an hour :) 

maybe later....
So now that I've written out my long excuse for not running 20 miles this morning, I'll get to the good stuff: this pasta dish with balsamic butter sauce.  I found the original recipe on Pinterest and it's been sitting on my food board for a few weeks now.  I went looking for a new pasta recipe and decided this would be a good one to boost my carbs on a Friday night.  I was a little worried that the balsamic vinegar would be overwhelming, but the smaller quantity rounded out with sugar and butter created this smooth, silky sauce that was mild and flavorful.  Plus, the whole dish came together with very little effort and in very little time!  I used green beans because they looked a little more snappy at the co-op that afternoon.  I also had to use some chevre in this recipe because I received my first container of homemade goat cheese from my CSA farm yesterday. 

Wow.  This chevre is divine.  In addition to using some to round out this pasta dish, I had a few small know...just to test it out!  I can't wait to get more of this amazing chevre from Little Flower Farm.  (You can also sign up for a chevre share with them!)  The chevre gave this pasta dish the extra bit of creamy, tastiness that it needed to round everything out and make me eat an entire second helping.  A very tasty pasta recipe to add into your dinner rotation -- Enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Green Beans and Balsamic Butter Sauce
adapted from Food & Wine
serves 4

3/4 pound of fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of tube pasta
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 stick of butter (1/4 pound), cut into pieces
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons goat cheese
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Toss the green beans in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 12 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a small handful of salt and then the pound of pasta.  Cook until al dente according to the package directions.  Drain the pasta and put into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to simmer.  Continue to simmer until the vinegar has reduced to about 3 tablespoons.  Stir in the brown sugar and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. 

Combine the green beans, pasta, balsamic vinegar, and butter.  Top with the Parmesan cheese.  Taste and adjust salt & pepper as needed.  Serve and top each serving with a tablespoon of goat cheese.  Stir in the goat cheese and enjoy!

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