Daily Dinners: Spinach & Goat Cheese Pasta

Surprise! I'm not doing a post about Caleb. I thought I'd go way back in time and bring back a Daily Dinner. Remember those? Yea, it's been awhile, and I'm sorry. I just ate this dish on Thursday and remembered I had photos already for a post. It was funny because I took the photos January 2015 (and nope, that's not a typo on the year). So it's taken me over a year to get to this post. The good news is, I think you'll like it. It's quick and easy - so quick and easy, in fact, that a mom with a 4 month old baby can manage it (part of it was with him in the Ergo carrier because he didn't want to nap). So here we go...

Technically, the name of this dish is Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta. However, that's a mouthful and too long for a blog title.

If you put either caramelized or brown butter in something, I'm immediately drawn to it. This recipe has both. Don't let the butter scare you if you're trying to keep things light - in my opinion, it's not a lot of butter and it just adds a deliciousness to the dish. Also, this has my favorite cheese in it: goat cheese! And the topping on the cake...it comes together in 30 minutes. Boom! Dinner is served.

It requires a few different pots to happen, but other than that the clean-up isn't too bad. First put the pot on for the pasta, then get the caramelized onions going, and the last one to start is the browned butter. Then you stir it all together and you have a delicious, quick, healthy meal.

Caramelized Shallot, Spinach & Goat Cheese Butter Pasta

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is


  • 1/2 pound pasta (about 1/2 a box of pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3.5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 sausage links or a few pieces of bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces (optional)*
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Bring water to a boil for pasta and prepare according to directions. (Keep in Mind: You'll want to save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water before you dump it!).
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil. Add the shallots and salt, stirring to coat. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Be sure that the pasta is cooking by this time.
  3. Add the spinach to the skillet with the shallots and toss. Stir continuously until the spinach is wilted, about 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Whisk frequently until the butter begins to brown. The minute you see brown bits appear in the bottom of the skillet, remove it from heat and whisk for another 15 seconds. Add the garlic powder to the brown butter and give it a good stir.  
  5. Strain the pasta from the water when it's done cooking, and dump the pasta back into it's pot. When straining, keep about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the spinach and shallot mixture to the pasta along with the garlic brown butter.
  6. In the pot that you used for the spinach and shallots, cook up some sausage or bacon (or whatever meat you'd like). Once cooked, dump it into the pasta pot as well. You can skip this step if you want to keep it vegetarian. 
  7. Crumble the goat cheese into the pasta and stir. Add the pasta water to loosen it up until you reach your desired consistancy. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper if you want some kick and some parmesan cheese. Serve it up! 

* For the sausage I like Trader Joe’s Garlic Herb Chicken Sausage or Al Fresco Roasted Garlic sausage (from Safeway)