Gluten free Asparagus and Arugula Balsamic Pasta cooked with mushrooms and tossed in a rosemary balsamic sauce. Served with fresh arugula leaves, avocado slices and parmesan shavings for a healthy weeknight meal.
I can’t decide whether it is easier or more difficult to get back into a routine after a 3-day weekend holiday break.
I mean on one hand, Braelyn goes back to school and that is definitely easier. But on the other hand, there are no more excuses to just lounge around, relax, and play with the kids. Well, there are always excuses enough to play with the kids, but there’s never much time for the other two.
We seriously had such a blast over President’s Day weekend. We met friends for swimming on Saturday, enjoyed being outside and going to church on Sunday, and went to the gym together and ran around at the park on Monday. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.
This weekend was also the first weekend that I let Braelyn go outside and play without keeping a strict eye on her. I always feel like I have to be outside watching her while she is playing with the neighborhood kids even if there are other parents outside. I just don’t want to be “that parent” that pawns her kid off on everybody else.
But this past Monday, one of her friends knocked on the door to ask if she could play. Emry was napping, I was in the middle of baking, and Ben was…well, who knows what Ben was doing. Point is, I let her go outside on her own and play. Two hours later she came back. Welcome to a whole new world of play dates!
Don’t worry, I knew where she was the whole time. I promise I didn’t just neglect her. And we returned the favor by having the two neighbor girls over at our house for the following two hours. I really enjoyed the arrangement.
I think I have finally entered the stage of letting my child roam free…with boundaries and checking in, of course.
Okay, so usually when I write posts, I just start writing and somehow tie in some personal story or whatever is on my mind in the moment to whichever food I’m giving you the recipe for. Yeah, I’m not having any luck today. And I’m too lazy right now to rewrite everything I just wrote or tweak it into making any sense for introducing this pasta dish.
Not gonna happen.
Yep, I just told you a random story with no rhyme or reason to it. Hope you enjoyed it…or not.
Anyway, gluten free Asparagus and Arugula Balsamic Pasta! Let’s talk about some pasta now, shall we???
I’m happy to announce that this flavorful dish is downright healthy. With all my dessert posts, I’m sure you wonder what I eat in between baking goodies…since I claim to be a health nut and all. Well, here’s one of my healthy dishes that has graced our family menu twice in the past few weeks.
This pasta is loaded with veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, and arugula to be exact) and has a light sauce made of balsamic vinegar, vegetable stock, rosemary, and a touch of honey. Okay, maybe there are a few more ingredients in there, but you get the point.
The balsamic vinegar gives this sauce a tangy kick, while the vegetable stock and honey tone down the acidity to a perfectly mild flavor. And the peppery bite of the arugula in this pasta dish yields even another layer of flavor.
And can you really make a pasta dish without using fresh garlic??? I didn’t think so. Garlic is definitely my friend when it comes to pasta dishes, or sauces, or sautéed veggies, or soups, or…okay pretty much anything savory.
I’m also pretty picky with cooking my asparagus. I’m a fan of al dente vegetables. You know…with a little crunch, but not raw. I like there to be a little texture still left in my veggies instead of a pile of mush. But, if you prefer softer veggies (no judgment here…okay, maybe a little), just increase the cooking time of the asparagus a minute or two until you reach the desired tenderness.
Oh, and I know it may seem like an optional ingredient to add the avocado on top. But, you must add the avocado on top! It seriously makes the dish. The creaminess of the avocado cuts through the pasta, smoothing out and tying together the entire dish. You really don’t want to miss out on that benefit now do you?! I didn’t think so.
So there you have it. A gluten free, vegetarian, 30 minute meal. Really, can you ask for much more. Nope, pretty much not.
Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling even if it had nothing to do with cooking yummy pastas. Just humor me and pretend like I haven’t completely lost my mind, okay? Thanks.
How do you like to spend your holiday weekends?
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 bundle asparagus, cut into 1" pieces*
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups lightly packed arugula leaves
- 12 ounces gluten free rotini noodles (Barilla brand)
- 1 avocado sliced
- In a small mixing bowl mix together vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, pepper, coriander, honey, and rosemary. Stir until cornstarch in dissolved. Set aside.
- Wash and prepare vegetables by mincing garlic, dicing onion, slicing mushrooms. Remove bottom inch of asparagus spears and discard. Cut remaining part of spears into 1" pieces. Do not cut avocado yet. It will begin to brown if cut early.
- Begin heating water with ¼ teaspoon of salt to cook pasta. While waiting for water to boil, in a large saucepan, melt butter on medium high heat. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Once butter in saucepan is heated enough that an onion dropped in sizzles, add onions and mushrooms. Reduce heat to slightly about medium heat (enough to still sizzle) and cook for 6-7 minutes until onions are tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes more or until asparagus pieces and crisp tender, stirring occasionally.* Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir broth mixture again to evenly mix cornstarch. Pour broth mixture over vegetables in saucepan. Bring sauce to a low boil and stir until it begins to slightly thicken. Remove from heat.
- Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and pour over vegetables. Stir to coat pasta evenly in sauce mixture. Toss pasta with fresh arugula leaves and garnish with sliced avocados and parmesan shavings.
Leftover tip: Before reheating leftovers, add a splash of vegetable broth to your pasta and heat in the microwave and stir. The noodles should remain tender.