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photo-2While at the grocery store, I noticed how good the asparagus looked.  I quickly hopped onto my Pinterest board and looked for something that I could through this veggie in.  This one sounded good and boy-oh-boy, am I glad I made it! It was a hit! The balsamic flavor was definitely there but was brought down a smidge because of the butter and brown sugar.  Plus, it was so easy to make! That’s always a plus..

Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

(original source)

What you’ll need:

  • 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

What to do:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard. 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.