Monday, August 8, 2011

A Top Chef Kinda Meal

I don’t cook with asparagus very often.  Okay, NEVER.  Mainly because I have NO clue how to cook it and it kinds makes your pee smell kinda funny.  Aside from all that, I recently found a recipe via Pinterest that looked pretty dang tasty and ohmiword, called for asparagus.  Time to put my big girl panties on and get over all those preconceived notions about this particular veggie.  We need more greens in our life and this was just the place to start.  I gotta say, it was a Top Chef kinda dinner.  From roasting asparagus to whippin’ up the most delicious balsamic butter “sauce”, I had “master chef” written all over me.  HA!  Now I’m not sayin’ I’m gathering up my knives and heading to the Top Chef auditions or anything, but DANG…this recipe made me feel like a seasoned veteran!  And the plus side to it all?!?!  It couldn’t have been EASIER!!!!  And amazingly delicious, too!!!



recipe from Food & Wine

1 lb. asparagus {don’t be scared!}

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1 lb. penne

1 stick of butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


Alright, now aside from asparagus, I actually had all the ingredients in my pantry/fridge.  Seriously y’all…this doesn’t take much!!!


Before you do anything else, go ahead and cut your asparagus into little one inch pieces.  Make sure to snip off the icky bottoms first.  I went ahead and cut off the tips on top, too because I prefer the crunchy middle part {and I had no clue the tops were edible…they looked all kinds of gross}.


Toss the asparagus into a gallon sized ziplock baggie and throw in the olive oil, pepper, and salt. Shut it tight and shake it up til all the asparagus are nice and coated.


Now pour them out in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast ‘em up at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.


Ummm…I’m gonna go ahead and say that I totally would’ve added another pound of asparagus to the mix.  As soon as these babies came outta the oven, I COULDN’T.STOP.EATING them.  Dangit.  At least it was a healthier option than the fistfuls of chips/candy/anything else terrible I like to munch on while cooking.

While the asparagus are roasting, you can add the vinegar to a small saucepan.  You’ll wanna let it simmer until about 3 tablespoons remain in the pan.  I had to eyeball it and I stink at doing that.  Not so sure there were 3 tablespoons left when it was all said and done, but you get what I’m sayin’.  Toss in the brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Mix well.  Remove from heat.


Cook penne according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, parmesan, and 1 3/4 tsp. salt.  Serve and enjoy!!  HEAVEN PEOPLE!!!!!  I’m tellin’ you…absolute HEAVEN!!!!!


I can’t rave about this dish enough!!!  SO flippin’ amazing!!!!  See, doesn’t that sound all Top Chef to you, too?!  Aside from the time that it took the pasta to cook and the MINIMAL amount of time it took to chop and roast the asparagus, this was seriously a quick meal!!!  I’ll totally add more asparagus next time because that was dang good.  If you’re lookin’ to impress your Mister Man, look no further.  Mine was ALL over it!!


  1. I LOVE Top Chef and I LOVE asparagus! Can't wait to try your recipe here. I love your blog, keep up the good work!

  2. We love asparagus at my house (even the kids- strange) so we will be having this for sure! Just pinned!

  3. I nominated you for an award today on my blog! stop by if you have a min...p.s. this dish looks amazing

  4. I made this recipe tonight! It was SO good! And you're definitely right about the asparagus...would make a better snack than the normal chips I go for!

    thanks for sharing!

    Frolicking Through First

  5. What a RANDOM recipe!!?? But my mouth is kinda watering!?! I just laughed so hard at you cutting the tops off the asparagus! Hahaha I love you!

  6. My husband and I really enjoyed this. I was skeptical of the aspargus, as I am not a huge veggie fan, but it was delicious! I couldn't stop eating them off the baking sheet either! Added bonus- my carnivorous husband didn't even complain that it was meatless!