This is one of those recipes that requires very little thought, energy, effort, or skill to make. It’s also one of those recipes that is pretty darn hard to screw up. And yet…I managed to do just that. It didn’t matter. It still turned out smashingly well. And sounds super fancy to boot.
One tip (ahem, experience speaking here): don’t let the balsamic reduce too far. I did. And it ended up sticking to the bottom of the pan. Doh.
Another tip: once the asparagus is done roasting, turn off the oven and pop in the pine nuts. They will toast while you wait. Super easy, and super energy efficient. I know. I’m cool like that.
I believe this recipe originally came from Food & Wine Magazine, but it’s hard to tell since there are only about 80 bazillion versions online.
Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter (Dairy Free)
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4 tbs Earth Balance or vegan buttery spread
- 1 lb penne
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet.
Toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
Turn oven off. Place pine nuts on baking tray and place into oven to toast until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer until 3 tbs remain.
Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 tsp pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne according to package directions (about 13 min.).
Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, pine nuts, and asparagus.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.