Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Linguine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

One of the nicest things Kevin has ever said to me was that he never liked brussels sprouts until I made them for him.  Before then, I think he had only experienced them out of a can.  I haven't had brussels sprouts out of a can--actually I'm not sure I've even seen canned brussels sprouts in a grocery store.  Much like how I've never seen frozen chopped onions so frequently used by one Food Network star in the grocery store.  If any of you can attest to the truth underlying these myths, let me know.

While Kevin would argue that brussels sprouts alone can constitute a meal, I have my doubts.  After some peeking around on Epicurious, I came upon a very intriguing recipe for pasta with brussels sprouts and pine nuts. Who woulda thunk?  So I gave it a whirl.

Adapted from Epicurious.

Ingredients (the recipe called for 1/2 lb of pasta and I can't stand having leftover pasta in an open box so I doubled the recipe)
  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts--root ends trimmed and any sorry-looking leaves discarded
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 6 TBS pine nuts, toasted (be prepared, this is expensive. like, shockingly so. you can use chopped pecans or walnuts if you want)
  • 1 lb dried fettuccine or linguine (fettuccine would be preferable b/c it has more width to support the sprouts, but the store didn't have them (bastards) so I used linguine instead 
  • zest from 1 lemon 
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • at least 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan (do it to taste--I inevitably need more than I think, but I could feed off a salt lick)
After all that, I did a horrible job of taking pictures.  So I will slowly and painstakingly and annoyingly take you through the steps with written word, just to crush your soul.

Halve the trimmed brussels sprouts from top through root end.  Place newly cut side facing down on cutting board, and slice each half into about 1/4" slices.  Set aside.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a wide pot or saute pan over medium heat until melted. Stir in the pine nuts until "golden"--at least that's what the recipe says will happen after 1-2 minutes. Mine never got quite golden, so in the future I might toast them beforehand.

Throw in the brussels sprouts, 1/2 to 1 tsp salt, and plenty of pepper. Stir until sprouts are just soft.  The original recipe is with a smaller quantity so it says to stir until the sprouts turn a light brown, but let me show you why that wasn't going to happen with my mega pot of brussels sprouts.

Yeah, that's okay. Throw in your cooked pasta and toss with lemon zest, lemon juice and cheese.

A simple fall dish.  Not mind-blowing or anything, but easy and quick, and seasonal to boot.



  1. I don't like veggies but I do like carbs and cheese. I don't know, I'm torn. You sure do make it look good though!

  2. thank goodness you decided to take pics and save my soul from being crushed.

    that pasta, despite displaying a woeful lack of meat, actually looks quite tasty. I will have to try it.

  3. me loves me brussel sprouts. i know a lot of ppl don't agree with me. let's start a club!!

  4. bigapplenosh: maybe in a few years i will succeed in bringing you over to the veggie side, with enough cheese and carbs, of course

    sashacleo: it was pretty tasty and easy, give it a try!

    lobster: let's build the clubhouse in a brussels sprout patch. or wherever those things grow.

  5. How DO brussel sprouts grow? I'm guessing like a head of cabbage? Or maybe on vines? Oh well, they are yummy anyway. I'm a fan. :D

  6. Um...would you believe that I can't even remember the last time I had brussel sprouts? I need to try them again!

  7. Oh, I love love love brussel sprouts. This looks amazing.

  8. jessica: that is a very good question. at the farmers' markets i see them growing off of big stalks. so glad there's another brussels sprouts fan!

    mintedlife: yes, definitely try them again!

    f_traingirl: brussels sprouts lovers unite!

    chocolate freckles: i know, it was surprisingly good!

  9. just made this for dinner and it was EXCELLENT. will become one of our staples! with the addition of pancetta.