Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

52 Comments

Inspired by a photo I spotted on Nigella Lawson’s blog, I decided a pasta with Brussels sprouts would be fabulous. Doesn’t that sound like a perfectly comforting combination?!!

I happen to love Brussels sprouts. My husband thinks he hates them. Until he eats them. Then he makes a comment like, “These are pretty good!” But he refuses to remember that he makes this comment after eating them. But if he refuses this pasta, there will be more for me.

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So here’s what I did.

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Comté

12 ounce package pasta
1 pound Brussels sprouts
4 ounces butter
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
Approximately 14 ounces Comté or Gruyère, diced

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. If your pasta is very glutinous, you might want to toss it in a little oil in a large bowl to prevent sticking while you’re working on the rest of the recipe.
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This is the pasta I used. Funny packaging, huh?!! We’re not gluten free in this house, but I like to try pastas made from different grains, and this brand never fails to please. It’s actually a 16 ounce bag, but I only used 12 ounces of the pasta.
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Trim the Brussels sprouts. I normally cut large ones in half, but these were all about the same size.

Typically I steam Brussels sprouts, but I decided to use the pasta water. They were cooked just until tender, then drained. Let cool.


Meanwhile, using a large shallow pot, melt the butter over medium heat. A little browning is fine.

Add the garlic and have the cream nearby. For me, garlic is perfectly sautéed just when you begin to smell the garlic. That’s within about ten seconds. But I don’t like the taste of burnt garlic; some people do.


At this point, pour in the cream and stir in the salt and white pepper.

Simmer gently for about 30 minutes or so. The sauce should reduce by about half.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Dice up your cheese. I chose Conté, but Gruyère or Fontina would work well.
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Set up your food processor to slice the Brussels sprouts. I just bought a new food processor, and I had to get the manual out to put the slicing mechanism together properly. My old one was a Viking brand and it was terrible, so hopefully this new one will do the trick for many many years.
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Slice the Brussels sprouts and add them to the pasta.

When the cream sauce is ready, remove the pot from the heat source and gently stir in the pasta and sliced Brussels sprouts.
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Lightly grease a deep serving dish that is oven proof. Place about half of the pasta in the dish, then cover with half of the cheese.


Add the remaining pasta and repeat with the cheese.

Place the serving dish in the oven and let the cheese melt and the pasta heat through. The pasta is done when the top is golden brown.
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The pasta isn’t as photogenic as I thought it would be. I thought you’d be able to see more of the Brussels sprouts’ leaves. But it is good.

It’s not overly rich, either. I considered making a bechamel to toss the pasta in, but I’m glad I made it simply with cream.

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Of course ham would be delicious in this pasta, or just little bits of Prosciutto. But I like it just with the Brussels sprouts, because it can be eaten as is, or as a side dish to just about any kind of protein.

And by the way, my husband finished off this pasta.

52 thoughts on “Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

  1. Very nice, Mimi. I’m not terribly fond of Brussels sprouts, but with that much Comté I would love it :-) I use smaller sprouts and keep them whole, and then serve them with onion, cream, white wine, prosciutto, penne pasta, and grated parmigiano. Kees loves them, so this is something I make for him to heat up when I’m out ;-)

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  2. I adore Brussels sprouts, and often make a kind of pasta carbonara dish using them. Then recently I have started making Asian noodles with the sprouts. This gratineed pasta dish looks exquisite, I would love to try it some day.

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  3. It’s so sad that generations of Americans grew up thinking of broccoli and Brussels Sprouts as ‘nasty & stinky’ – but they often were because they were boiled to death! I’m sooo gonna pin this recipe!! ; o )

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      • I remember my father wouldn’t make us eat the broccoli my mother cooked because it was so nasty. He said, ‘If I won’t eat it, then the kids don’t have to eat it”. Of course, I grew up in the 50s & 60s and everyone seems to overcook their vegetables then… esp. broccoli. But gradually tastes changed and cooking habits changed – thank God!! Oh yeah – green beans were overcooked as well. I know what you mean about green beans floating in water in school cafeterias !!

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  4. Morning Mimi, I have the same issue as your husband with Brussels sprouts. a friend mentioned she tried them freshly picked, then steamed, and the taste was extraordinary. I recently had fresh picked broccoli and the flavour was sweeter, more like asparagus Maybe that bitter sulphurousness is because the supermarket variety are old. Have you ever tried a comparison tasting?

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    • No I haven’t, but I’ve never had a bad Brussels sprout, either. Freshly picked is always better of course. i think the problem is psychological. My husband refused to eat broccoli for years. Now he loves it. He did the same with cauliflower and asparagus. And then brussels sprouts.

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  5. This looks so delicious, Mimi… I’ve never had Comte, I’ll have to look for it. I just made a Brussels Sprouts type appetizer on puff pastry for our work party yesterday, I was worried that it wouldn’t be touched, because people are funny about them. I have to say that the platter was empty before 10am! Whew!
    I know that I’ll love this, and we’re having some friends over on Saturday… I’ve been thinking about a pasta dish, I think you just helped me out with that. <3

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  6. You’ve certainly broadened your husbands palate. I used to make a pasta dish with B. sprouts years ago, and loved it. Even though I was told by my then flatmate that Italians would never, ever use that combination. Didn’t care – it was my dinner! Oh, must try that sauce.

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  7. I’ve loved Brussels sprouts since the days when they only came from the freezer section of the grocery. In a box, no less. (Yes, I’d pass on those now that I know better.) Looks like a delicious use of beautiful fresh ones!

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  8. I’ve made Nigella’s recipe before. I followed it to the T but substituted parsnips for potatoes because my husband is allergic to them. This dish is so decadently good, I think because of the cheeses. It really elevated the brussels sprouts to a new level for me. So good. The recipe was featured on the NY times and I got to ask her some questions about it. It was so cool. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/recipe-lab-video-chat-with-nigella-lawson/?_r=0
    Your adaptation is great with the cream and garlic. I love garlic so much. Gotta try this version.

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    • I watched it! How much fun that must have been!!! And you’re adorable. We just got back from NYC – I should have asked you for restaurant recommendations. We didn’t suffer in the dining department, though! We even got in to the Spotted Pig!

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      • Omg! So glad you got in there. Such great food. Oh yes i eat everywhere. Last time you went to le bernadin. You do manage to eat well! Next time let me know and I’ll give you more recs. I think i looked terrible in the vid with the awful lighting in my kitchen and i was so nervous! But it was fun and Nigella is so down to earth. I always play this game with my friends “which chef would you choose on The Taste and it becomes a terrible game of “marry, kill or sleep with” because it’s so hard to choose. Thanks for watching. Your little dish will always hold a special place for me.

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      • awww, you’re so sweet. you didn’t seem nervous at all! I was thinking, in fact, that you must be a litigator! You have a good memory. I’ll be back to new york soon – i can’t wait to do a girls’ trip and go to diffferent kinds of restaurants, like The Modern. So many restaurants…

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      • I work right near the Modern and Le Bernadin. I am a litigator! So funny! I do love going out in the city. I make sure I cook most nights because table rituals are so important, but I love going out here. So much inspiration. xo

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      • I’ve been to Eately a few times, but I’ve been meaning to check out Aldo Sohm. My firm sometimes holds events there but I haven’t been able to go. I’ll check back in. I recently went to the London, Gordon Ramsay’s place and is was very well done.

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      • i think G. R’s restaurants are always perfect. We went to his latest in Battersea in April and it was all about perfection. But now I can concentrate on NYC restaurants for future visits!!!

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      • I went to the spotted pig last night done you kind of made me jealous. I had a lamb terrine and a while partrige, head and feet included. What an awesome special. I’ve never seen a partrige on a menu before. So good.

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