A big thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog, especially for being so patient these last few months while I haven’t published anything. The death of my mother combined with the darkness of winter have made these last few months trying, to say the least. I haven’t felt like doing anything, let alone cooking or writing. But the sun has (finally!) come out in Seattle, and it has brightened my mood considerably. I am feeling slightly more human, at any rate, and thought this recipe the perfect way to welcome spring, and me, back into the world.
Penne & Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter
From Food & Wine Magazine
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.