A recipe for pasta with bacon and Brussels sprouts

I’m planning a mini-Thanksgiving in Italy this year with a guest list limited to two cats and a boyfriend. It’s a workday, but we’ll grab a small turkey something or other from the butcher, and I’ll make my Thanksgiving must-haves, stuffing, dinner rolls, and Brussels sprouts. FYI these rolls on the Martha Stewart site are the best no-knead dinner rolls ever.

I love Brussels sprouts and contemplating Thanksgiving last night resulted in Brussels sprouts in our pasta for dinner. I made it with pancetta instead of bacon because that’s what lives in my fridge but it’s hard to go wrong with bacon.

Pasta with bacon and Brussels sprouts

Serves 2

  • 60 grams of bacon, pancetta, or guanciale, cut into small cubes or squares or 1-inch long chubby rectangles
  • 10 to 20 Brussel sprouts, destemmed and cleaned
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Dry pasta – I used rigatoni
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Optional: A pinch of red pepper flakes
  1. Boil a large pot of water and add a handful of coarse salt.
  2. Cook the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water until tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the Brussels sprouts and run under cold water and then cut each Brussels sprout in half. Save the water to cook the pasta.
  4. Cook the bacon in a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over low heat until it is crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
  5. Remove the bacon and add the Brussels sprouts, and the red pepper flakes if using, to the skillet, and cook in the rendered fat on medium-high heat until golden and crispy. Add some parmesan cheese when they are almost done and toss.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the Brussels sprouts.
  8. Add the bacon and cook over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds while tossing.
  9. Plate and top with cheese and serve.

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