Penne noodles? Check
Balsamic Vinegar? Check
Butter? Of course!
These are the main ingredients to this wonderful and very simple pasta dish. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish for the simple fact that it was meatless. What's that you say? You didn't think I liked dishes without meat?? Yes, yes it's true. Sometimes I feel like I need to go a day without eating meat. I consume a lot of it, so a day here and there without any meat is just fine by me. My carnivore husband would not agree, in fact he even suggested next time I make this to add chicken. Not gonna happen though, I love this dish just the way it is. I do like to be healthy whenever I can be, though from my list of recipes you would never know that. :)
Penne With Roaster Asparagus and Balsamic Butter
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. light or dark brown sugar
1 pound Penne pasta
4 Tbsp. 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.