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Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe

This penne pasta with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter recipe is a delectable blend of tender pasta and fresh vegetables coated in a rich buttery sauce. The use of balsamic vinegar adds a distinct sweet and tangy flavor that beautifully complements the savory parmesan and asparagus. It's a simple yet flavorful dish that is sure to impress.

Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe

Photos of Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe

Asparagus is a key ingredient in this recipe, known for its distinct flavor and high nutritional value. It can be found in most supermarkets, especially during spring when it's in season. However, if asparagus isn't available, you can substitute with broccoli or other green vegetables. Balsamic vinegar is another ingredient you'll need to pick up if it isn't already in your pantry. It has a unique sweet and sour profile that gives the dish its signature flavor.

Ingredients for Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Asparagus: A nutrient-rich vegetable that brings a unique flavor and crunchy texture to the dish.

Olive oil: Used for roasting the asparagus, it helps to enhance the flavor and texture of the vegetables.

Salt: A fundamental seasoning used to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Black pepper: Adds a bit of heat and depth to the overall flavor of the dish.

Balsamic vinegar: Gives the dish a sweet and tangy twist, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.

Brown sugar: Used in the balsamic reduction to add a hint of sweetness.

Penne: A type of pasta that holds up well with the chunky and rich balsamic butter sauce.

Butter: Adds a creamy and rich element to the dish.

Parmesan cheese: Brings a salty and nutty flavor which complements the asparagus and balsamic vinegar.

One reader, Everard Heffner says:

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This penne pasta with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter recipe is a game-changer! The roasted asparagus adds a delightful crunch, and the balsamic butter gives it a unique tangy flavor. It's a simple yet elegant dish that's perfect for a cozy dinner at home. I highly recommend trying it out!

Everard Heffner

Techniques Required for Making Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

How to roast asparagus: Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Toss them with oil, salt, and pepper, then roast in a preheated oven at 400°F until tender, about 10 minutes.

How to make balsamic reduction: Simmer balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until it reduces to about 3 tablespoons. Stir in brown sugar and pepper, then remove from heat.

How to cook penne: Boil the penne in a large pot of salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

How to toss pasta with balsamic butter: Toss the drained penne with butter, the prepared balsamic reduction, roasted asparagus, and parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

How to serve with variations: For penne with roasted broccoli and balsamic butter, follow the same steps using broccoli instead of asparagus. For penne with roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, and balsamic butter, add toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts at the end with either asparagus or broccoli.

How To Make Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Roasted asparagus completes this simple pasta dish that’s tossed in a tangy mix of butter, vinegar, and sugar. Top with Parmesan to finish!

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • 1lbasparagus
  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 2tspsalt
  • ½tspfresh-ground black pepper
  • ½cupbalsamic vinegar,plus 2 tbsp
  • ½tspbrown sugar
  • 1lbpenne
  • ¼lbbutter
  • 1cupparmesan cheese,grated


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces.

  3. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes until tender.

  4. Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain.

  5. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.

  6. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 13 minutes until just done.

  7. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1¾ teaspoons salt.

  8. Serve with additional Parmesan.


  • Calories: 852.60kcal
  • Fat: 37.83g
  • Saturated Fat: 21.49g
  • Trans Fat: 0.93g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.41g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.13g
  • Carbohydrates: 96.32g
  • Fiber: 6.10g
  • Sugar: 10.61g
  • Protein: 31.01g
  • Cholesterol: 86.23mg
  • Sodium: 763.48mg
  • Calcium: 508.70mg
  • Potassium: 564.05mg
  • Iron: 4.50mg
  • Vitamin A: 314.06µg
  • Vitamin C: 6.35mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

When roasting asparagus or any other vegetable, it's important to spread them out evenly on the baking sheet. Overcrowding can cause the vegetables to steam instead of roast, preventing them from getting that delicious caramelized exterior. Also, tossing the vegetables in olive oil and seasoning before roasting ensures they are evenly coated and will roast properly.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Penne Pasta Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and prepare the balsamic reduction in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the asparagus is roasting, start boiling the water for the pasta to save time.

Quick cleanup: Clean as you go to minimize the post-cooking cleanup time.

Use a timer: Set timers for roasting the asparagus and cooking the pasta to prevent overcooking and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe

  • asparagus - Substitute with broccolini: Broccolini has a similar texture and flavor to asparagus, making it a great substitute in this recipe.

  • penne - Substitute with fusilli: Fusilli has a similar shape and texture to penne, and its spiral shape can hold the balsamic butter sauce well.

  • balsamic vinegar - Substitute with red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar can provide a tangy and slightly sweet flavor similar to balsamic vinegar, making it a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to butter and can still add richness and flavor to the dish.

  • parmesan cheese - Substitute with pecorino romano cheese: Pecorino romano cheese has a similar salty and nutty flavor to parmesan and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

Presentation Tips for Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus

  1. Elevate the asparagus: Arrange the roasted asparagus spears in a delicate and intentional manner, creating a visually appealing and appetizing base for the dish.

  2. Create a balsamic reduction drizzle: Use a squeeze bottle to delicately drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar in an artistic pattern around the plate, adding a touch of elegance and flavor complexity.

  3. Perfect the pasta placement: Carefully twirl the penne pasta into small, neat nests using tongs, placing them strategically on top of the asparagus to create height and dimension on the plate.

  4. Garnish with Parmesan shavings: Shave fresh Parmesan cheese over the dish using a microplane grater, allowing the delicate, paper-thin shavings to delicately cascade over the pasta and asparagus.

  5. Incorporate microgreens: Sprinkle a few vibrant and fresh microgreens over the dish to add a pop of color and a subtle hint of peppery flavor, enhancing the overall presentation.

  6. Consider the plate selection: Choose a pristine, white, and wide-rimmed plate to provide a clean canvas for the vibrant colors of the dish, allowing the elements to stand out and shine.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

  • Oven: Used for roasting the asparagus.
  • Baking sheet: Used to place the asparagus for roasting.
  • Small saucepan: Used to simmer the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
  • Large pot: Used for boiling the penne pasta.
  • Colander: Used for draining the cooked pasta.
  • Spatula: Used for tossing the pasta with the balsamic butter and asparagus.
  • Grater: Used for grating the parmesan cheese.

Storing and Freezing Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

  • Let the penne pasta cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent the pasta from becoming mushy and sticking together.

  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled pasta in an airtight container. It will keep well for up to 3-4 days.

  • If you plan to freeze the penne pasta with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter, follow these steps:

    1. Divide the cooled pasta into individual serving portions.
    2. Place each portion in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
    3. Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    4. Freeze for up to 2-3 months for best quality.
  • When ready to enjoy the frozen pasta, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

  • To reheat, place the thawed pasta in a microwave-safe dish and heat in the microwave until warmed through, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. Alternatively, you can reheat the pasta in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring gently until heated through.

  • If the pasta seems dry after reheating, add a splash of water or olive oil to help restore its texture and moisture.

  • Note that the roasted asparagus may lose some of its crispness after freezing and reheating, but the overall flavor of the dish will still be delicious.

How to Reheat Leftover Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

  • When reheating leftover penne pasta with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter, the best method is to use a microwave or a stovetop
    • For the microwave method:
      1. Place the desired amount of leftover pasta in a microwave-safe dish
      2. Add a splash of water or olive oil to prevent the pasta from drying out
      3. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape
      4. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the pasta is heated through and steaming hot
    • For the stovetop method:
      1. Place the leftover pasta in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat
      2. Add a splash of water or olive oil to the pan to prevent the pasta from sticking and drying out
      3. Stir the pasta frequently, heating it through until it's steaming hot and the asparagus is tender-crisp
      4. If the pasta seems dry, add a small amount of butter or olive oil to restore moisture and flavor
  • To maintain the best texture and flavor of the roasted asparagus, it's recommended to reheat it separately from the pasta
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
    • Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil
    • Reheat the asparagus in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until it's heated through and slightly crisp
  • Once both the pasta and asparagus are reheated, toss them together in a serving dish
  • Drizzle the reheated pasta and asparagus with the reserved balsamic butter sauce, stirring to coat evenly
  • If the sauce has thickened or separated, whisk it briefly over low heat to restore its consistency before adding it to the pasta
  • Sprinkle the dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately for the best flavor and texture

Interesting Fact About Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Penne pasta is a versatile ingredient that can be paired with a variety of vegetables and sauces to create delicious and satisfying meals.

Is Making Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this penne pasta with roasted asparagus and balsamic butter recipe is quite favorable. Asparagus, penne, and balsamic vinegar are reasonably priced, making this dish affordable for a household. The addition of parmesan cheese may slightly increase the cost, but it's still a budget-friendly option. Considering the nutritional value and flavor profile, this recipe earns a solid 9 out of 10. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a wallet-friendly and satisfying meal choice.

Is Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Healthy or Unhealthy?

This recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, asparagus is a nutritious vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Roasting the asparagus helps retain its nutrients while enhancing its flavor. Whole wheat penne pasta can provide complex carbohydrates and additional fiber. Parmesan cheese, when used in moderation, adds calcium and protein to the dish.

However, the recipe also includes less healthy ingredients. Butter and olive oil are high in saturated fats, which can contribute to heart disease if consumed excessively. The balsamic reduction contains added sugar, increasing the overall sugar content of the dish. Additionally, the recipe calls for a significant amount of salt, which may be a concern for those watching their sodium intake.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter used or replace it with a healthier alternative like olive oil or a small amount of avocado
  • Use whole wheat or legume-based penne pasta to increase the fiber content and nutritional value
  • Decrease the amount of added salt and let the natural flavors of the ingredients shine through
  • Include additional roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes, to boost the dish's nutrient profile and add variety
  • Use a low-fat or reduced-fat parmesan cheese to decrease the overall fat content without compromising on flavor
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, like garlic, basil, or red pepper flakes, to enhance the taste while reducing the need for excessive salt or sugar

Editor's Opinion on Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

The combination of roasted asparagus, balsamic butter, and penne pasta creates a delightful harmony of flavors and textures. The roasted asparagus adds a lovely earthy note, while the balsamic butter provides a tangy richness that elevates the dish. The addition of parmesan cheese brings a savory depth, complementing the overall dish. The recipe's versatility with variations such as roasted broccoli and toasted nuts offers a delightful twist. This dish pairs beautifully with a crisp sauvignon blanc, enhancing the overall dining experience. It's a delightful and versatile recipe that is sure to impress and satisfy.

Enhance Your Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes: Crispy roasted potatoes with a savory garlic parmesan coating, perfect for pairing with the penne pasta and asparagus dish.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Thyme: Tender carrots glazed with honey and thyme, adding a touch of sweetness and herbal flavor to complement the balsamic butter and asparagus.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Juicy, flavorful grilled chicken marinated in a zesty lemon herb marinade, serving as a protein-packed accompaniment to the penne pasta and roasted asparagus.

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Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: A sweet and savory glaze made with honey and garlic coats tender, flaky salmon fillets. This dish is easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. Serve with steamed vegetables and rice for a complete and delicious meal.
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Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Penne Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Stuffed Mushrooms: For a delicious and elegant appetizer, try making stuffed mushrooms. Fill the mushroom caps with a savory mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then bake until golden and bubbly. These bite-sized treats are sure to impress your guests.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Bruschetta with tomato and basil is a classic Italian appetizer that never fails to please. Toast slices of crusty bread until golden, then top with a mixture of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil. The combination of flavors is fresh, vibrant, and perfect for kicking off a meal.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert.
Berry Parfait: Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and healthy dessert option that's perfect for any time of day.

Why trust this Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, featuring fresh asparagus roasted to perfection, complemented by a rich and tangy balsamic butter sauce. The use of high-quality ingredients such as parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar ensures a delicious and authentic taste. The step-by-step instructions provide clear guidance, making it accessible for both novice and experienced cooks. The addition of penne pasta creates a satisfying and hearty dish, perfect for any occasion. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe to elevate your culinary experience and impress your guests with a delightful and flavorful meal.

Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum to discuss this delicious Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter recipe and share your own favorite pasta dishes!
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta such as fusilli, farfalle, or rigatoni. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.
Can I substitute the balsamic vinegar with another type of vinegar?
While balsamic vinegar adds a unique flavor to the dish, you can substitute it with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different tangy taste.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?
Absolutely! To make this recipe vegetarian, simply use a plant-based butter and substitute the parmesan cheese with a vegan alternative. For a vegan version, ensure that the pasta and balsamic vinegar are also vegan-friendly.
Can I prepare the asparagus in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the asparagus in advance by roasting it and storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to use, simply reheat it in the oven or microwave before adding it to the pasta.
What can I serve as a side dish with this pasta?
This pasta dish pairs well with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or a side of roasted vegetables. A glass of white wine or sparkling water with a slice of lemon would also complement the flavors nicely.

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