The name of this Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter might sound fancy, along with the presentation, but the cooking comes together in less than 30 minutes! And if the asparagus is on sale (which it is in my neighborhood this week) then the cost of this semi-healthy pasta is fairly cheap also!
Not to mention that the flavors in this dish are divine.
Confession. I enjoy doing the dishes after this meal because then I get to secretly scrape out every tiny drop of this balsamic butter sauce out of the pan and literally lick the bowl clean. I also get to finish off my kids bowls (which a lot of times there isn’t any left because they like this too). I can’t help it. Its like my body knows that letting any speck of this meal go to waste would be committing food sin, and my conscience just won’t let me do that!:)
Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter
Note*If asparagus is not in season you can use broccoli, and I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet you could use zucchini and squash also, just cut them in half and into asparagus sized strips! The flavors would definitely work together!
*Serves 4-6 (or one if your me:))
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
1 pound penne pasta
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done, 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the butter and vinegar mixture. Toss to combine well. Add in the asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.
Recipe Source: melskitchencafe.com who adapted it from Food and Wine Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook