Our love of brussels sprouts is well-documented on this site, but we're tired of them being relegated to a side dish. We wanted main dish brussels sprouts, which inspired us to create this easy pasta. The sprouts are sliced super thin, like little grassy green ribbons running through the noodles.
A little pancetta, bacon, or sausage is the quickest way we know to add spectacular flavor to pasta. You could use any of the three in this dish, although we think pancetta has a lighter touch than the other two, which allows the sprouts to take center stage.
In fact, the pasta is almost secondary. We used only half a pound, so that our bowls were equal parts veggie and noodles.
Everything cooks quickly, so this is a great weeknight meal. Try it on a brussels sprouts-hater. We think the bright green color and tender texture will win over a skeptic.
Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
8 ounces dry spaghetti
6 ounces pancetta, small dice
2 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 per package instructions until al dente. reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
Use 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 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 cheese, and serve warm.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.