Brussels Sprout Pasta Recipe
Now that the election is over, we can turn our sights to something that everyone can agree on: making delicious Thanksgiving food! But in food, as in politics, you can’t escape partisan ideology, and I find that people have a love or hate reaction to Brussels sprouts. That’s unfortunate, because even though green beans and collard greens are part of many people’s Thanksgiving tradition, I think that Brussels sprouts deserve consideration as well.
One way to get people to feel more comfortable with an ingredient they may not love is to dress it up with universally liked flavors. In this dish, I combined seared Brussels sprouts with garlic pesto pasta. The mild sweetness enhances and reinforces the garlicky goodness of the pesto. It’s familiar enough to make everyone at your dinner table smile. It also sneaks in some greens, which I think is really important on carb-heavy Thanksgiving.
Yields: 6 servings1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked (save some of the water when draining the pasta)
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil, as needed
4 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shaved
Prepping the Brussels sprouts:
Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Using a parin gknife, make a deep criss-cross incision at the bottom of the vegetables. That way they'll still hold together and will be cooked through.
Place them in a small pot and cover with just enough cold water to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain the Brussels sprouts, leaving about 4-5 in the pot; continue to cook them until very soft. Transfer the rest to an ice water bath. Drain one more time and cut them in quarters. Coarsely chop the very soft ones.
For the Brussels sprout pesto: In a blender (or a mini-food prep if you have one), combine the chopped Brussels sprouts, 1 clove of garlic, pine nuts, parsley, Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. You might want to add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of reserved pasta water for a smooth flow. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the remaining garlic and cook until golden and fragrant. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion wedges and cooked until lightly brown and softened. Add the cooked bow tie pasta and toss for about 2 minutes. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add a little pasta water. Turn off the heat and add the Brussels sprout pesto. Mix until the pasta is well coated. Add more salt if necessary.
Boiling the Brussels sprouts helps to make them more digestible. Make sure you drain all the Brussels sprout liquid as it can turn the dish very bitter.Published By: on November 7, 2012.