I have had this recipe for Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter bookmarked since Laura found it in, oh, I don't know, 2004? I finally made it this week and I'm so glad I did. The dish took less than 45 minutes to prepare, which is a kitchen miracle in my book, and it used asparagus. In the spirit of attempting to eat locally, I am enjoying asparagus while it is in season.
One my favorite college memories was sophomore year dinners (never mind that I no longer am in touch with 2 of the 3 other participants). On occasional Fridays, Beth, Roxanne, Renee and I would cook a fabulous dinner, drink a box of Franzia, and then either go watch the free movie in the Commons or force our neighbors to have a dance party. Yeah. The guys next door loved that. Or at least they did the one night I managed to split my jeans. The food was always great and by the end everything was amusing. Anyway, Beth pointed out that asparagus makes your pee smell at one of these dinners and it is true. For a long time I avoided eating asparagus, but now I just figure it is temporary and really who else is affected by the smell? No one. Back to this dish now that I have ruined your appetite.
The flavors blend well together - the sauce is slightly sweet, the pasta is nutty, and the asparagus adds a pleasant firmness. I actually reduced the butter by half without any trouble. It reheats okay, but would be best to eat in one go.