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Horizontal head-on shot of a shallow white bowl of cooked macaroni with green asparagus and a brown sauce, with another identical bowl to the right of a small glass dish of grated Parmesan in soft focus in the background, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth with a fork, on a light brown wood table.

Rigatoni with Asparagus & Balsamic Reduction

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Skip the red sauce and excite the palate on this week’s pasta night with our rigatoni with asparagus and balsamic, a tangy way to enjoy seasonal vegetables.


  • 16 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.  
  2. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain well and place in a large serving bowl.  
  3. Meanwhile, cut asparagus into 1-inch-long pieces. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the oven on the middle rack and roast for 8-10 minutes.  
  4. While asparagus and pasta are cooking, place a medium-sized heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by almost half and thickened slightly.
  5. Stir butter and honey into vinegar reduction. Season lightly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook another minute, until butter is melted and incorporated completely.
  6. Add cooked asparagus to serving bowl with pasta. Pour balsamic sauce over the top and toss well to coat. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop, Roasting
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: balsamic vinegar, balsamic reduction, rigatoni, macaroni, asparagus