, ,

More cruciferous vegetables for you all! This pasta combines crunchy, wholesome brussel sprouts with decadent pancetta and a tangy, creamy sauce to make a satisfying winter meal. Shave the brussel sprouts using the blade attachment on a food processor or by slicing the brussel sprouts lengthwise, then lengthwise again, and separating the leaves to resemble a very fine slaw.

For this dish, I used Orecchiette – a small, dome shaped noodle – but use whatever have on hand. Whole wheat or rice pasta would work nicely here. Also, when preparing this dish, make sure you don’t discard the pancetta grease since it’s essential to the sauce and can be used strained in subsequent meals. Look for good pancetta free of nitrates and sugar. I’m partial to La Querica.

Serves 4.

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and shaved
1 pound dried Orecchiette
1/3 pound good pancetta, finely cubed
2 cloves of garlic, slivered
Olive oil
All purpose white flour
1 cup of whole milk or cream
1/2 cup of sour cream (greek yogurt could also be used)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook orecchiette according to instructions on package. Drain when done.

2. Meanwhile, crisp the pancetta in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over a medium-low flame. Remove pancetta from the pan when lightly browned and fat is rendered. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

3. Drain and reserve fat from the pan, the drizzle pan lightly with olive oil. Stir in shaved brussel sprouts and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until just wilted then set aside, alongside pancetta.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together one tablespoon of the rendered fat with one tablespoon of flour to form your roux, then heat milk (using the same pan used to cook the sprouts and pancetta) over low flame.

5. When milk is warm, whisk in the roux making sure to dissolve all lumps. Next, whisk in sour cream and Parmesan til mixture forms a creamy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Remove sauce from heat and pour over cooled pasta. Coat well, then stir in pancetta and brussel sprouts. Serve immediately, with extra Parmesan.