Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pasta

I may have made this pasta five or six times over the last two weeks.  Every time I went to photograph it, it was either (a) too dark, (b) there was none left, or (c) I poured a boiling pot of water on my hand and couldn’t do anything for the rest of the night.

Yes, it’s been an eventful week around here.  For those who know me personally or follow me on Instagram, you know the details.  We were planning to leave last Friday morning for a weekend away in Merida, Mexico.  Merida is a beautiful old colonial city, about 3 hours from here on our fancy toll road.  We took my parents and traveled with another family of four.  We rented a gorgeous house that was a tad large.  5 bedrooms with courtyards and a gorgeous pool and yard.

merida1

Look at that entrance way.  Bedrooms started at the left and continue straight ahead.  They rent this house out 3 ways separately or all together.  Because of the size of our group we rented the entire property.

merida2

I’ve never seen such gorgeous palm trees on someone’s personal property.

merida3

You can’t really tell but the bamboo behind the pool was so tall and I could have sat there with my wine watching them sway in the wind allllll weekend.

We had a barbecue Friday night with some other friends who we asked to join us.  Saturday night we went out for dinner.  After dinner I went to get the van to pick up my parents and by the time I got back, my dad had fallen.  He was taking a picture and didn’t see a pipe sticking out and tripped on it.  (The sidewalks in Mexico are notorious for their lack of stability, they’re more like a roller coaster ride).  We brought him home and put him to bed.

The next morning my mom fell in her room.  I woke up to a text message saying “Les, I have fallen and I need help getting up”.  The property was so big nobody could hear her.  Thank goodness her phone was close by because obviously my dad couldn’t help her either.  If that kind of text message in the morning doesn’t get you moving quickly, I don’t know what would.

We usually go and visit a skating rink that they have in one of the malls in Merida so that our kids can still be somewhat Canadian, but because of the falls, we went straight home.  Monday morning my dad looked bad and we decided he needed to go straight to the hospital.  Trouble was, I was headed to the airport to pick up my cousin and his son as a surprise visit for our kids!  I couldn’t tell them where I was going and thankfully they weren’t smart enough and didn’t ask.  So my husband left work and took dad straight to the hospital while I headed off to the airport.

Turns out dad ended up with 5 cracked ribs, a slight scratch on his lungs, but all his vitals were okay.  He stayed in the hospital for two days and they released him on the third.  He’s now at home taking it easy but slowly moving around.  My mom had a gash on her arm from her fall, which we got the doctor to look at while we were at the hospital for my dad.

Tuesday night an old friend who used to live here and is one of my dearest foodie friends came into town.  We literally had 36 hours together.  Wednesday morning I was at the hospital with dad.  In the afternoon we took my family and friend to a beach.  That night I was finishing off a ricotta ice-cream recipe that was inspired by something my girlfriend said she saw on Chef’s Table (I think) when my son started screaming.

Just when I thought things were calm.

He had his face too close to the water heater when lighting it and it blew up in his face.  We rushed him to the clinic where they checked out his eyes.  His vision was okay but there was a lot of residue in there so he was given two sets of drops to clean it out.  He singed off most of his eyelashes but his skin and vision was okay.  It could have been a lot worse.

I came home and drank wine and ate ricotta ice cream.  It helped.

By Thursday my girlfriend was gone.  And Thursday was a quiet day where I was back in the kitchen doing normal people things.

Let’s see how long that lasts.

First thing I made yesterday was this.  I am not kidding, I first made it a few weeks ago when my other cousin was visiting.  I had to make a few tweaks to it but I loved it instantly.  If you’re gluten free, just switch up your pasta.  I used tri-coloured spaghetti for this, which for some reason you can’t even tell in the picture.  You can use any noodle but I prefer spaghetti or capellini for this.

I am not a precise cook, I change recipes like this up a lot.  So do whatever you would like as regards the measurements for the tomatoes, goat cheese, and spinach.  The more goat cheese you put it’ll make it like a creamy sauce.  I personally like putting it on top at the last in individual bowls and letting it melt slightly in the residual heat as opposed to in the pan and it gets creamy.

It’s easy and fresh and meatless!

Here’s to a boring and uneventful weekend!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 TAB olive oil
  • 1 TAB butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TAB balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 small bunch spinach, washed and chopped
  • 250 grams pasta noodles of your choice
  • grated parmesan, optional
  • salt and pepper to season

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large saucepan to medium high heat with oil and butter.  Transfer sliced onions to pan and stir to coat.  Cook for about ten minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the pan and burns.  Add sugar and salt, lower heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes until they look rich and brown, should take 20-30 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to coat.  Turn off heat.

Put a pot of water on to boil the pasta.  In the last few minutes of pasta cooking time, turn the heat back on for the pan of onions.  Add tomatoes and spinach and salt to season until tomatoes start popping and spinach wilts, a few minutes.  (Leaving a little water on the washed spinach leaves is helpful).

Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Toss vegetable mixture with pasta and reserved water, adding more or less as you desire.  Add goat cheese and stir for a few minutes if you would like a creamy sauce, or just add the cheese and turn off heat and serve for a pasta like is pictured.

Serves 2 large portions or 4 smaller

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