Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Butter Pasta

The title says it all. This dish is super yummy and pretty easy...though I can't say it's particularly healthy. But that's Ok every once in a while right?


I got the idea from this website that I found via Pinterest. I did make a few minor changes to the original recipe to try and cut back on the butter in my version and dirty fewer dishes/simplify the process; I haven't tried it with all of the butter recommended, but my version still tastes really really yummy, and I cut the butter by half! Feel free to make the original version (complete ingredients list and directions on the link above), but to try my lighter version, look below. I don't have step by step pictures, but I think you'll be Ok without them :)

Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Butter Pasta

For this recipe you'll need:

  • 12-16 ounces of Asparagus (I buy it frozen and don't even bother to thaw it!)
  • Olive Oil for tossin'
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp of Parmesan Cheese
  • About a 1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp of Brown Sugar
  • 12-16 ounces of Pasta of your choosing (I like Penne or any other smaller pasta with nooks and crannies)
  • 1/2 a stick of Butter (1/8 pound)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese  


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While it's preheating, prep your asparagus by snapping off the ends if needed and chopping into pieces about an inch in length. (Note: it's way easier to chop before you roast it...not that I've learned from experience or anything). Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then spread out on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle Parm cheese over the top. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, but start to check it around 8. When it's done, the cheese it toasty brown and the asparagus is tender and just starting to get some color. 
  2. While that's a roastin' boil some water and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the box/bag. Drain well.
  3. On the stove, heat the Balsamic Vinegar in a saucepan until it starts to bubble. Simmer until it reduces considerably, about 10 minutes. I like it when it becomes almost syrupy, so that when you tilt the pan, it leaves a coating behind. Do NOT smell it; it will burn your nostrils/eyes/face off. Before turning off the heat, add the brown sugar and dissolve; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and swirl the butter in until it melts. Take your roasted asparagus and add it to the saucepan, coating the asparagus well.
  4. Toss the vinegar/asparagus mixture and the pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the Parm cheese to your liking. 
  5. Eat.

Even by using only half a stick of butter for my version, I still think it tastes great. I'm sure the whole stick makes it better. Considering it's for a pound of pasta, I guess it's not that bad...if it were some type of cream or cheese sauce, you'd be eating a LOT of cream or butter too, so I console myself with that.

This is also really good the next day cold; I bring leftovers in my lunch (if there are any) and eat it without reheating. Yum!

Let me know what you think! And if you have recipes to share, feel free to link in the comments :)

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