May 012012

I came back from Blissdom all fired up to blog more this year, and then boy, have I really really sucked at following through on my goal. I know November is the popular NaBloPoMo month, and I’ve done that three years in a row, but this year I’m going to do a self-imposed challenge to blog every day in May, too. I might not come up with a daily post, but something’s better than nothing, right?

Let’s start with an easy post!

I’ll share this recipe with you with one caveat: I’ve never actually cooked this. This is Andy’s signature dish, and it’s what I request for every birthday, Mother’s Day, Day I Just Don’t Feel Like Cooking, etc. It is 100000000% worth the stinky asparagus pee you’ll have afterwards.

Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter
(adapted from Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Pasta Cookbook)
(side note: that whole cookbook rocks, btw)

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
as many pine nuts as you’d like to add (hint: you can never have enough pine nuts)

1. Heat the oven to 400°. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus and pine nuts on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. (This will totally stink up your kitchen, leaving you to wonder just what in the heck you’re about to eat. It turns out okay, promise.) Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat.

3. 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, pine nuts, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.

Serves 4. Or at my house, serves 2 adults who gluttonously eat like 3 helpings until their stomachs are bursting, with just enough leftovers for Andy to take to work for lunch the next day. Yum!


  10 Responses to “Until I can think of some better topics, here's some pasta.”

  1. That sounds yummy. Wish I had some asparagus on hand.

    • It’s so great this time of year as asparagus starts being in season, but I also want to try it this summer with green beans. I’m guessing those would be a great substitute.

  2. I don’t think my oven goes to 40, unless it’s Celsius…sounds delicious anyway!

    • Oops! THANK YOU for catching that typo, I’ve changed it to the correct 400°. Forty degrees would make some pretty cold asparagus!

  3. This looks great. I know what you mean, too, about Blissdom goals.

    • Glad someone else understands! That’s one of the hardest things about parenting for me, convincing myself it’s okay to carve out time for things important to me. Trying to get better!

  4. I will be making this as soon as Jon is out of town. He ABHORS the smell of vinegar and almost threw up when I boiled vinegar to jar pickles once. I’ve been barred from boiling vinegar again.

  5. I can’t wait to try out that pasta really soon. It looks so yummy. Thanks for providing the recipe, it will really come in handy.

  6. That looks fatty delicious.

  7. What a delicious meal this is.I am just wishing i was in a position to get some asparagus right now!

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