Back to the magazines for tonight's dinner recipe. After having recently conquered cooking an eggplant, I decided it was about time I tried out Brussels sprouts. I've never cooked Brussels sprouts before and have only tasted them once. And the only word that comes to mind to describe that taste is "nasty." Bitter and mushy, yuck! But I've seen a lot of recipes lately that feature Brussels sprouts, so I figured maybe it was just that one restaurant that didn't know how to cook them, and not actually the Brussels sprouts themselves.
While paging through some old magazines, I came upon a recipe for Brussels sprouts with parmesan and pine nuts from an October 2008 issue of Sunset magazine. I decided these Brussels sprouts, presented here as a side-dish, would make an excellent stir in for a pasta dish. Since I was making a serving for one, I cut down the Brussels sprouts to about half-a-dozen (less than 0.5 lb) rather than the 0.75 lb called for in the recipe. One thing to note is to watch the heat level of the pan you're sautéing the garlic and Brussels sprouts in; my pan was a bit too hot and led to less of a browning and more of a burning (whoops!). Luckily, I was able to salvage the dish by scraping out the blackened garlic and later added some more back in once the broth was added.
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
makes 1+ serving
1 cup pasta
~6 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
fine sea salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth (plus more as needed)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish)
1. Start the pasta by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is aboil, add in a pinch of sea salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions.
2. Heat a medium-sized skillet on high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove the pine nuts from the skillet and set aside.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat on high. Add the garlic and Brussels sprouts and saute until brown. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Reduce the heat and add in the vegetable broth and continue cooking until tender. Add more vegetable broth as needed. (I used a lot since I wanted it to serve as a bit of a sauce.) Stir in the pine nuts.
4. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove it from the pasta water and add it to the skillet. Stir to combine. Season with ground black pepper and sea salt to taste. Stir in the grated Parmesan.
5. Serve on a plate and garnish with more grated Parmesan if desired.