Brussels Sprouts Pasta With Bacon and Vinegar
This recipe is endlessly adaptable: You can use pancetta or even sliced salami in place of the bacon, and chopped cabbage or torn escarole work well if you don't have sprouts. No shallots? A small red onion will do. Keep in mind different types of bacon (or other cured pork) will render different amounts of fat. When you add the brussels sprouts, if the skillet starts to look a little dry, add a tablespoon of oil to keep things moving. To achieve a nice mix of crisp leaves and tender cores, tear off some of the loose outer leaves from your brussels sprouts; they will wilt and blister while the more tightly bundled cores will soften and steam. This recipe is designed for a half pound of pasta; though you may be tempted to add extra pasta, the dish will be plenty filling with a whole pound of brussels sprouts.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 8thin slices of bacon
- 8ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
- 1pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and outer leaves separated
- 2shallots, thinly sliced
- 1tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- ¼cup cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2tablespoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard
- Shaved Parmesan, for serving
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a plate.
Step 2Drop pasta into the boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
Step 3Meanwhile, heat the remaining bacon drippings in the skillet over medium-high. Add brussels sprouts and shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally and adding olive oil if the skillet looks dry, until the sprouts are dark brown in spots and beginning to be close to tender, 3 or 4 minutes. Add vinegar and mustard and toss to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Step 4Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to skillet, then stir in 1 cup pasta water. Cook, tossing often, until liquid reduces and coats the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Crumble bacon over top and serve with Parmesan.