Lemony Brown Butter Penne with Roasted Vegetables for #MeatlessMonday #GlutenFree
I got the BEST surprise last week – FedEx drops off this wonderful parcel at my door!
I received two packages of Mixed Lentil Penne Pasta from Modern Table Meals, a super cool bag that will be perfect to use at the grocery store and an awesome mixing spoon! Yay, lucky me!! Now it was time to read up a bit about the product and learn what makes it special! What I found out mix lentel pasta is dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian (I know several of my friends that will appreciate this!) and after cooking with it, I can tell you it’s also quite delicious also!
So what I decided to make was a brown butter sauce with lemon and roasted vegetables – personally I think roasted vegetables mixed with lemon is a match made in heaven and this meal showcases that combination! You’ll start by preheating the oven and chopping asparagus – you’ll want them about the same size as the penne, add them to a sheet tray along with some cherry tomatoes, a bit of seasoning & into the oven they go. You’ll roast them quickly, just until the tomatoes begin to burst like so –
While the veggies are roasting you’ll put a pot of water onto boil and begin working on the brown butter sauce. Don’t let the name scare you – it’s super easy – all you do is put the butter in a small sauce pan over medium to medium/low heat. The butter will begin to melt – you’ll see the solids come to the top and you just skim those off – continue cooking the butter and it will turn a dark brown and get the richest nutty flavor!
Next zest a lemon & you’ll need just about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of grated Myzithra Cheese – when the pasta is cooked to al dente drain, reserving about a cup of pasta water. Then it’s time to assemble the dish. In a large bowl, add the pasta, roasted vegetables, brown butter, cheese, lemon zest & the juice of half a lemon. Seasoning with a bit of salt & pepper and that’s it! Perfect pasta – so light, but super flavorful too. If you use the Mixed Lentil Pasta from Modern Table, you can taste the lentils in the pasta and it’s just delicious!
It is a very simple meal, but great flavor – we loved the hint of lemon and all the fresh vegetables, it’s super savory but the lemon definitely balances it out – you’re going to love it too!
Not familiar with Myrzithra Cheese? You’ll find it in the specialty cheese section in the grocery store near the grated parmesan, in fact it’s similar to parmesan, but is made with sheep or goat’s milk – quite delicious, a bit less salty.
Lemony Brown Butter Penne with Roasted Vegetables
- 10 oz dried Penne Pasta
- 2 lbs asparagus
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup grated Myrzithra cheese
- 1/2-1 cup pasta water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Clean asparagus, snap off ends and cut into 1" pieces (I cut them on the bias). Clean tomatoes. Put the tomatoes and asparagus on a cookie sheet & toss with olive oil, salt & pepper. Into the oven they go for about 15 minutes (stirring once halfway thru) cook them just until the tomatoes begin to burst and the asparagus is still crisp & bright green.
- Put a large pot on high on the stove to boil the pasta. When boiling cook the penne pasta to aldente, drain reserve about a cup of the pasta liquid.
- Put the butter in a small sauce pan on medium low. Swirl it occasionally. It will take about 5 minutes and the solids will begin to rise to the top of the butter. Take a small spoon and skin them off the top. Continue to cook the butter over medium-to medium/low heat. It will become a brown color and the taste will be nutty and have much more flavor.
- To assemble transfer the pasta back to your large cooking pot. Add the vegetables, brown butter, lemon zest, juice and cheese. Stir to combine. If it is too stiff - add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and stir again. Add additional pasta water if needed.