I LOVE brussels sprouts. After going through the obligatory hating-all-vegetables (except corn) as a child, I finally realized somewhere around the age of 12 that these little green cabbages are in fact, delicious -- particularly when braised in butter and with chopped bacon (optional). I eat them about once a week in the winter, usually just roasting them for 15 minutes with a dash of olive oil and hot pepper flakes, but when I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I knew it would be something else. I actually made these a couple of months ago for the first time as a side dish, which was wonderful but quite rich, and so the other night I had the idea to make it into a main course by removing some of the brussels sprouts and substituting them for pasta. An excellent, and inexpensive dinner if I do say so myself. Brown Butter Pasta with Brussels Sprouts (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed
8 oz pasta (such as fusilli or penne)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, finely sliced
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, hot
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and crushed
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Blanch brussels sprouts until tender and bright green, 3-5 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until browning at the edges, about 5 minutes. Cook until butter begins to turn brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes more. Whisk in flour and cook until mixture is light brown. Whisk in stock and cook until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper. Mix in brussels sprouts, and transfer all to a large roasting pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil water in a medium saucepan, and cook pasta until al dente, according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain and set aside.