Penne with Balsamic Butter
I love a good staple dinner. Something I can throw together in a jiffy if need be. And this is one of my favorites!!! Its easy, not time consuming and I typically have everything I need on hand.
- 1 pound asparagus OR Broccoli
- 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.
--If you use broccoli you can roast it instead. OR if you dont want to waste time roasting, you can boil the broccoli along with the pasta, when Im short on time, this is what I do.
- 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.
--I dont usually use 4 Tablespoons of Butter, I try to use 2 instead. --I do not usually make the whole pound of pasta either.
-- I also use more than 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar to sweeten it up just a little
--I add garlic.
--Additionally I use Mozzarella cheese AND Parmesan