Recipe: Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Recipe: Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

If you love Brussels sprouts and big bowls of pasta, I'm about to show you how to pair them together to really live up to their full potential. This made-for-fall meal is simple enough to throw together any night of the week, yet fancy enough to totally impress friends when they come for dinner. Because we all know that these green-hued globes are better with bacon, wispy strands of Brussels sprouts are partnered with crispy cubes of pancetta and sweet pine nuts, tossed with thin strands of spaghetti, and gilded with a light buttery white wine sauce.

This is a fast and fancy weeknight pasta dish that's just as much (if not more) about the veggies and meat, than the strands of spaghetti laced through the bowl. A little pancetta or bacon (even, sausage) is the quickest way we know to add spectacular flavor to pasta. You could use any of the these meats in this dish, though it's hard those crisp nuggets of salty pancetta.

Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Serves 4

8 ounces dry spaghetti
6 ounces pancetta, small dice
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.

When the water is ready, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with the salt and pepper, and stir to coat.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and butter, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, then toss to coat with the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the pancetta and pine nuts.

Divide among bowls or plates, top with the cheese, and serve warm.

Recipe Notes:

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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