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I've been eating a lot of pasta lately. Last night, after a movie, we were thinking of going out to dinner, and all of our ideas were pasta related. Due to being indecisive, I decided to just go home and cook -- which led to lazy me eating leftovers. Leftover pasta that is. Unfortunately I can't find too many people that would win the argument that pasta isn't awesome. I'm going to try and switch things up a little this week, let's hope I don't get the shakes from pasta with drawl.
Begin by heating the oven to 400 degrees F. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, then cut into one inch pieces. Put on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven until tender, around 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, melt butter in a medium sauce pan.
Then add the vinegar to the pan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about three tablespoons, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining pepper. Yes, that sad little clump is the brown sugar. It melts fast!! Sometimes taking pictures proves difficult :) Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
Stir in the butter and vinegar mixture into the pasta. Toss to combine. Add in the asparagus and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with additional cheese for serving.
The whole thing took around 15 minutes to make. Talk about a great quick dinner! From first glance I was a little concerned the vinegar would be overpowering, but it's not at all. The brown sugar and cheese tone it down. The asparagus coated in the sauce tastes amazing too. One more great pasta dish to add to my already huge list. Enjoy, and happy Monday!
Balsamic Butter & Asparagus Penne
Adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Serves 4-6 *I cut in half and had around 3 servings
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Put asparagus on a rimmed baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Roast in the oven until tender, around 10 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
While asparagus roasts, make balsamic sauce.
Melted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the vinegar and simmer until reduced to around three tablespoons, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the brown sugar and add additional pepper to taste.
Remove from the heat.
Cook penne in a large pot with salted water, until just done.
Drain pasta and return to pot.
Stir in butter and vinegar mixture and toss well to combine.
Add asparagus, Parmesan, and any additional salt to taste.
Serve immediately with additional cheese for serving.