It's Sage's birthday (our now 14 year old DD) and she has requested Angel Hair pasta with Balsamic Velvet Sauce. I made this up when she was small and would stay up really late and we'd both get hungry. It's one of her favorite foods. We'll have some fruit on the side and I'm making a chocolate Bundt cake for her. (I'm OTR so no chocolate for me. I may freeze some cake so I can have some when my period is over.)
Angel Hair with Balsamic Velvet Sauce
4+ TBS of good extra virgin olive oil
3-4TBS butter (you can use more olive oil or canola if you don't eat butter, or soy butter) plus one TBS for finishing
about 1/4 cup of good Balsamic Vinegar
splash of white or red wine whatever you have left over in the house or open one of those little bottles and keep it for cooking (You can just leave this out if you don't have it or don't do alcohol. Most of the alcohol cooks out, though, and I've served this to one year olds with no bad effects all the time)
one or two cloves of garlic
fresh chopped parsley
Kosher Sea Salt, not too fine
the better part of a pound of good Angel Hair dry pasta (I like De Cecco)
A good 12 inch frying pan with sloped sides
Put a lot of water to boil, add some salt to the water
Melt all but one TBS of butter in frying pan, add olive oil until warm.
Add half of the Balsamic (be careful as sometimes it will flame up)
Add slightly smashed clove of garlic. (Don't chop it up or it will be bitter, better to keep it whole and just bruise it to get the flavor out of it,) Cook gently until just brown and you can barely smell the garlic cooking. Use tongs to remove garlic. You can save for an other purpose or discard
Splash some wine into sauce, this may also flame up, so keep your hair out of the way and don't have any babies in a sling when you cook this. Bring to a boil to take out as much alcohol as you can in about 2 minutes or less
Add the rest of the Balsamic,Kosher Sea salt, parsley, and a pinch of sugar if you aren't using high quality Balsamic and it tastes too sour, if you use good Balsamic you will smell the "sour" leaving the vinegar, leaving the sauce almost sweet. Taste it to see if you need a pinch of sweetner
Water should be boiling by now, if not just turn off Balsamic Sauce until the water boils.
Add pasta to rapidly boiling water, stir and cook about 2-3 minutes (if you are using a different type of pasta cook until al dente)
Reheat Balsamic Sauce while pasta is draining
Add last TBS of butter and let melt until sauce is velvety
Add drained hot Angel Hair to sauce in pan while heat is still low under pan and toss coating pasta. Add more parsley to top. Adjust seasonings if necessary. (My husband likes the slightly browned garlic on top of his pasta. My DD and I do not, so he gets it all.)
It should take maybe 10 minutes. Sometimes I sliver baby carrots or use baby peas and cook them in the boiling water before I add the pasta. But, it's good the way it is. DO NOT spoil it by adding any kind of cheese. You need to be able to taste the subtle flavors of the oil, the Balsamic vinegar and the hint of garlic. Cheese it too overwhelming for such a delicate dish.