Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Lately, I’ve been on a brussels sprouts kick. It wasn’t until recent years that I learned to appreciate brussels sprouts in all their glory. Known as the vegetable that elicits more than its fair share of grumbling and turned up noses, I’ve found that, add a bit of bacon, and brussels sporouts become not only bearable, but crave-worthy. Therefore, I really enjoyed this recipe for Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon from Joanne Weir. The dish is flavorful and complex, and I love the finishing touch of chopped roasted hazelnuts and a covering of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Crave-worthy, indeed.

Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon (recipe from Joanne Weir via Food & Wine; serves 6)

1/2 cup hazelnuts (2 ounces)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large
3/4 pound orecchiette pasta
3 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°. Toast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes or until fragrant. Roughly chop the nuts once they’re cool enough to handle.

In a small saucepan, boil the chicken stock until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes; keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts, cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the Brussels sprouts with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander to drain excess liquid. Return the water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, 12 to 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Remove about half of the bacon grease from the pan, add the butter, and cook over medium-high heat until browned and nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the orecchiette along with the reduced chicken stock and simmer, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano cheese, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving bowl. Garnish with bacon and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and serve.

Category: Kristin's Kitchen One comment »

One Response to “Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon”

  1. shayla

    THIS is one of my favorite meals! i actually just make an egg and parmesan-based sauce at the end, instead of the hazelnuts. i’ll have to write about that or just share it with you! yum!!

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