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Campanelli with Asparagus, Basil, and Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish
Campanelli is a frilly trumpet-shaped pasta. If you cannot find it, fusilli works well. Take care not to overreduce the vinegar, or it will become bitter.
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 pound campanelli
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2-inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 medium red onion , halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
- Just before putting pasta in boiling water, bring balsamic vinegar to boil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer slowly until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking and balsamic is reducing, heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus, onion, black pepper, pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine; cook, without stirring, until asparagus begins to brown, about 1 minute, then stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes longer. Add asparagus mixture, basil, lemon juice, 1/2 cup Pecorino, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, drizzling 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze over individual servings and passing remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino separately.