Balsamic Vinegar Gives Cream-Based Pasta Sauce A Bold New Dimension

Spinach and balsamic cream pasta needs a spot on your dinner table. While some cream-based pasta dishes are heavy, balsamic vinegar lightens, brightens, and adds a zesty tang to this satisfying dish. To create the sauce, sautee minced garlic and shallots in butter before adding the balsamic that thickens as it cooks. Tasting Table's own Miriam Hahn who developed this recipe notes, "The shallot has a delicate flavor that teams up well with the balsamic sauce." 

Once your noodles have been cooked and drained, it's as easy as adding the thickened balsamic sauce to pasta in a skillet and then pouring in the cream to create a lush-tasting experience. Order of operations is important here. Reducing the vinegar before adding the cream is key so it doesn't curdle. The addition of spinach and tomato complements the vinegar and adds a nice texture. A drizzle of balsamic will balance out the richness that is synonymous with dairy while adding sweet, fruity notes that make this a standout meal, but remember, this vinegar has an intense flavor so don't be heavy-handed.

Use white balsamic vinegar for a lighter taste

If you like the idea of balsamic vinegar but prefer a lighter taste, you could substitute and use white balsamic vinegar instead. This addition is perfect for creating a summertime Alfredo or creamy garlic sauce. White balsamic has a shorter aging period and is cooked at a lower temperature so it doesn't caramelize before it is bottled up for use. The flavor still packs a punch but is a little more subtle for those palates that might be on the delicate side. 

But this sauce doesn't have to be limited to pasta. The thick, sweet, and sour notes created when cream and balsamic vinegar meld into this sauce will also work with some of your favorite salads and proteins. It can be used to drizzle over a mozzarella and tomato salad, added as a new dimension to a rice dish, and works well with fish and chicken. Once you start adding balsamic to cream sauces, you may never go back.