Why do so many people utterly despise brussels sprouts? I hadn’t questioned brussels sprouts’ bad reputation until the age of 26, when I finally decided to try them for the first time. In the six months since then, I’ve become a tad bit obsessed with this funny little vegetable. I love them roasted or sauteed, halved or shaved, sweet or savory – each version is delicious in its own way. Since I’m determined to convince others to give them a try, I thought I’d introduce them with an extremely simple and delicious dinner: pasta with brussels sprouts, walnuts and pecorino.
This is one of my favorite meals to make on a busy weeknight. It takes about 15 minutes to make, requires just a few ingredients, and is incredibly healthy (brussels sprouts are packed with fiber and vitamins A, C and K). I simply sauté the sprouts in some olive oil, salt and pepper and then add it to the cooked pasta. Some lemon juice, toasted walnuts and a sprinkle of freshly-grated pecorino cheese are the perfect additions. I’ll leave this post short and sweet to fit with this wonderfully simple recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 lb pasta of choice
- 3 cups shaved brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅔ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Juice of one lemon
- Pecorino or parmesan
- Cook pasta according to directions.
- As pasta cooks, saute the brussels sprouts in the oil with the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sprouts are softened and bright green (about 5-7 minutes).
- Prior to straining pasta, reserve ½ cup cooking water and set aside. After straining pasta, return to pot along with cooking water, brussels sprouts, toasted walnuts and lemon juice. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, and stir well. Top with freshly grated cheese.
I buy already-shaved brussels sprouts from Trader Joes. If you cannot find these, then roughly chop whole sprouts (making sure to cut off the ends).
I love cooking with garlic-infused olive oil, but it has a pretty strong flavor. For this recipe (and for many other Italian recipes), I follow a 50/50 rule: half garlic olive oil, half regular olive oil. It’s a great substitute if you’re out of garlic.
I have to admit to a bias of my own against brussels sprouts — an unfair one based on a bad school cafeteria experience decades ago. After that I’d heard they could only be made palatable with the help of bacon. With this great looking recipe, though, I’m ready to have my eyes opened and taste buds enticed. I’m guessing the garlic-infused olive oil adds a lot to the mix.
I am guilty of unfair Brussels-sprouts bias, but I promise to give this recipe a fair trial. The presentation is beautiful and the fact that it’s so simple and healthy makes it hard to resist!