Most vegetarian pasta recipes feature a flavorless, boring pile of starch, randomly studded with bland vegetables and are topped with a mound of low-quality grated cheese, but this Campanelli with Asparagus vegetarian pasta recipe, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen, is with big and intense flavors that would also be easy to make.

The key to making this delicious vegetarian pasta recipe is sautéing the asparagus and other vegetables to deepen their flavors and using restraint with a balance of salty, sweet, and sour ingredients in order to let the asparagus flavor shine.

SERVES 4 to 6 as a main dish
TIME 1 hour



  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a stockpot. A
  2. dd 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate and cook until al dente.
  3. Drain and return to pot.
  4. Just before putting the pasta in boiling water, bring balsamic vinegar to boil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer slowly until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. While pasta is cooking and balsamic is reducing, heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke.
  7. 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.
  8. Add asparagus mixture, basil, lemon juice, 1/2 cup Pecorino, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine.
  9. Serve immediately, drizzling 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze over individual servings and passing the remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino separately.

Note: Campanelli is a frilly trumpet-shaped pasta. If you cannot find it, fusilli works well. Take care to not over-reduce the vinegar, or it will become bitter.