Asparagus is in season, perfectly tender and reasonably priced right now. Roasting it brings out the
sweetness. Make sure that there is a touch of black to the roasting to give a complexity to the flavor.
The balsamic butter sauce (one of my favorite easy sauces and good for lots of vegetables) is rich,
smooth, sweet and tangy.
This meal has the advantage of being gourmet quality, easy, vegetarian and easy to make gluten free if
needed – simply replace the regular pasta for gluten free.
This is a great lunch or light supper. Or if you want to make it a feast, add a rotisserie chicken on the
Roasted Asparagus in Balsamic Butter over Penne Pasta
1 lb asparagus
1 TB olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, split into half
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper , split into half
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar or molasses or honey
1 lb penne pasta (gluten free or regular)
1 stick butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan plus more for serving
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil (the foil is optional, but it makes
Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan. Simmer until reduced by half. Add the ½ the salt, ½ the pepper
and all the butter except 1 tablespoon.
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus and throw them away. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces, toss
in olive oil, salt and ½ the pepper (easiest if you do this on the cookie sheet) . Spread the asparagus on
the cookie sheet in one layer. Roast asparagus until tender which will take about 8-10 minutes
depending on thickness.
Cook and drain the penne according to the directions on the package. Be sure to salt the water well
otherwise your pasta will be bland. Toss with 1 tablespoon of butter.
In a big serving bowl, toss the warm penne, roasted asparagus, sauce and Parmesan. Top with
Makes 4 good sized servings