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Year of the Noodle: Week 38

Have you ever seen how brussel sprouts grow?  It looks kinda like a short palm tree with little nubs of cabbage growing on it.  We saw people toting them around at the farmer’s market, and of course John had to have one.  (By now you should know that he is like a small child around produce.)  I’ve not eaten a lot of brussel sprouts in my life, but recently they seem to have become fashionably gourmet as I’ve been seeing them on menus and in vegetarian entrees with increasing regularity.  Somehow brussel sprouts became cool.  Which must mean that by cooking them we are cool, right?

So cool, in fact, that on the Saturday night before Halloween, when most people dressed up like pirates or slutty flight attendants went drinking and parading around downtown Denver, we stayed at home and ate brussel sprouts pasta in front of our fireplace.  We are the height of cool.

Cool or not, this recipe is a gem.  It’s fast (once you do all the prep work to your brussel sprouts, which is a tad time consuming), light, and tasty.  I ate this dish as a standalone meal, John had it alongside a steak, and we both agreed it was yummy and filling.  The flavors apparently complemented his steak quite nicely, so it might be an excellent side dish for meat eaters (or adding some grilled chicken to the mix would probably be delightful.)

Go find some brussel sprouts and make this.  It’s super tasty, very simple, and feels quite gourmet.  Win.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems removed and separated into leaves
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Bread crumbs (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1 pound/box of pasta (original recipe calls for orecchiette, we used bowties)
  1. Prep your brussels sprouts by chopping off the bottoms and separating all the leaves.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium-large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss in the sprout leaves, add salt and freshly ground black pepper, and saute for about one minute over high heat. Stir constantly.
  4. Add the onions and the red pepper flakes, and continue to saute until the sprouts are tender and a little browned, 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the garlic, and toss (I like to add the garlic a little before removing it from heat, so the garlic isn’t quite as raw/pungent). Pour lemon juice onto the sprouts.
  5. When the pasta is done, add it, drained, to the saute pan and toss everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Serve drizzled with olive oil (try to use a good olive oil). Toss with toasted bread crumbs or parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 4.

Source:  Alice Waters via Vegetarian Hausfrau


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