I'm the queen of over-reducing pan sauces, but I've finally made one that I'm proud of, though I can't claim much credit, as Balsamic vinegar is just another one of those magical ingredients that perks up just about anything it touches - sweet or savory.
Earlier tonight, my mom and sister came over, and I decided to cook dinner. I made Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa, vine tomatoes with salt and parsley, and french green beans in the style of Elise's Perfect Asparagus (minus the parmesan), it was lovely and light, and I didn't even bother to count the calories because it didn't come near my 500 calorie limit, which is probably why I was ravenous at 11 pm. The asparagus got a little over-powered by the vinegar and the peppers, but it was still absolutely heavenly.
Pasta with Peppers and Asparagus in Balsamic Butter Sauce
110 grams (4 oz) salad macaroni, prepared (420)
1/4 recipe Marinated Bell Peppers, chopped (60)
14 stalks asparagus, about 170g. (34)
1/2 med. onion, about 50g. (21)
20-25 small cocktail onions, about 50g. (20)
1 large clove garlic, julienned (10)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. olive oil (40)
1 TB. butter (100)
3 TB. balsamic vinegar (30)
salt and pepper
Chop asparagus into 1/2-inch rounds, making sure to set the tips aside; place rounds in zip-top bag and microwave for 1 minute. Saute the onions (both types) in 1 tsp. olive oil for about 4 minutes; add the peppers and continue sauteing for another 3 minutes; add the garlic and asparagus tips and salt and pepper to taste; saute for 1 minute. Remove vegetables from pan and add 3 TB. balsamic vinegar; simmer for 45 seconds (don't reduce the vinegar too much, it gets too sweet) then add the butter, lemon zest, parsley, and salt and pepper; remove from heat and swirl until butter is melted. Toss the vegetables and pasta with the sauce and serve.
Makes two servings, about 368 calories per serving.