My comfort food of choice also happens to be my weakness: pasta. Any way, shape or form, I welcome it with open arms. The inspiration for this dish is how most of my recipes are born: I start following a recipe and then realize I don't have everything it calls for so I just go with the flow! That's the fun and beauty of cooking (and also brewing beer....I've started brewing a certain style then start adding more or less grain, this hop, that hop....).
It's fun to play "Mad Scientist" sometimes. It's alive! It's ALIVE! Igor, pass me the eyeball!
When I was choosing my beer, I thought my sauce was going to be more tomato based. I chose the Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball because I wanted an amber to brown ale to match the weight of the sauce. Also, I remember detecting in the last vintage some Special B malt (used a lot in Belgian Dubbels). What does this mean? That malt gives off a distinct flavor of raisins, figs and deep fruit flavor which would match perfectly to a sweet sauce. Boom! Beer secured.
The pasta was full of fresh sweet peppers, kale and caramelized onion surrounded by a light coating of reduced balsamic vinegar, red wine and finished off by a few turns of Tuscan olive oil. A generous handful of parmesan added a salty nuttiness to the sweet vegetables. Al dente pasta balanced by the textures of crunch and oil. The sauce was lighter and more oil based than tomato, which was ok. But will it work with the beer? Let's find out...
The sweetness of the malts melted into the veggies and the balsamic/red wine reduction. The malts also showcase a nutty note, acting as a stage for the nuttiness of the parmesan. Does anyone not like cheese? I sure do! Next time, I will invest in a better quality cheese because the cheese really shines when paired with this beer. The bitterness of the beer battles the salt of the cheese and balances it out. The body of the beer was borderline too heavy for this dish but overall I really enjoyed it.
What other beers would I have with this pasta? Ommegang Rare Vos and Unibroue La Fin Du Monde come to mind. I will leave the recipe at the bottom and you can try it yourself!
Stay hungry, stay thirsty. Cheers!
1 cup cooked pasta (bowties, penne, or rigatoni)
3 or 4 stalks of kale trimmed of ribs, rough chop
6 small sweet peppers, various colors, sliced
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
1/2 cup baby tomatoes slice in half
1/2 cup dry red wine
Parmesan cheese shaker
Red pepper flakes
Start by chopping and slicing all your vege. Then, heat up a decent size pan on the stove with a couple turn of olive oil (the pasta will join your mixture in this pan later...so keep that in mind). Add your peppers and onions and cook until peppers are turning soft and the onion is caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add kale and tomatoes. Once kale is wilted, add the red wine and about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (to your taste). Toss the mixture around, then season with red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, salt and pepper (all to taste). Add about 1/4 cup of parmesan and toss. Then, I took about 2oz of the pasta water and added it to the sauce (helps the sauce adhere to the pasta). Mix. Let this all marry together for a couple of minutes then add your pasta to it. Mix it all together and finish it with a few glugs of good quality olive oil and another 1/4 cup of cheese. Enjoy!
Welcome to my blog! I want to show the world a simple meal paired with craft beer can elevate their dining experience to unique levels. Cheers!