Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

6 servings


30 minutes

total time


1 to 2 pounds fresh asparagus spears

1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar

Pinch of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 pound penne pasta (regular or whole wheat)

4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces (see note about browning the butter))

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Snap the tough lower ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Place the asparagus on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the asparagus roasts, add the vinegar to a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the brown sugar, pepper and salt. Remove from the heat.

Cook the penne in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente (or desired tenderness), according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.

Add the butter and toss with the pasta until the butter is melted and the pasta is evenly coated.

Add the vinegar reduction. Toss to combine well. Add the asparagus and Parmesan; toss. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese, for serving, if desired.


Serving Size



424 kcal

Total Fat

11 g

Saturated Fat

6 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



24 mg


458 mg

Total Carbohydrate

65 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

8 g


15 g

6 servings


30 minutes

total time
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