I am always looking for a good simple side dish. This recipe has many of my favorite things, balsamic, asparagus and pasta. The hubs is not a big fan of vinegar so I ended up adding some pasta water to the sauce to make it less rich. We both really enjoyed this quick dish.
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 pound penne
- 1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400°. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.