Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

It has been over a year since my last post, but fear not! I am back…with an amazing new recipe! I hope everyone is doing well and that your holiday spirit is in full swing. As I type this, I am listening to my Vince Guaraldi Trio Holiday Radio station on Pandora.

When I found this recipe, I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the balsamic vinegar, but I ended up really loving it. You reduce the balsamic vinegar and mix in a bit of brown sugar  — it adds an incredible, but not overpowering, sweetness to this pasta. Also, anything with asparagus is good in my book!

– 1 lb asparagus
– 1 Tbs. olive oil
– 1 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. pepper
– 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
– 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
– 1 lb whole wheat penne
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese



Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Spread out the asparagus onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast until tender (approximately 10 minutes).

Put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer and reduce until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Remove from the heat.

Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Drain the pasta and toss with butter, balsamic vinegar mixture, remaining salt, parmesan, and asparagus. Serve and sprinkle with additional parmesan.