This is the perfect hearty, yet light pasta dish for these chilly transitional spring months. It marries one of my favorite vegetable dishes (brussels sprouts and pancetta) with pasta, while adding a bit of a kick with some chile and lemon juice. Oh, and it’s quick and easy, too!
8 ounces penne
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
3 ounces pancetta, diced (feel free to use regular bacon if you don’t have pancetta)
1 large rosemary sprig
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, thinly sliced (or substitute 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes)
8 ounces brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons butter
Fresh lemon juice, for serving
Freshly grated pecorino cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring large pot heavily salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until pasta is just al dente (do not overcook).
Meanwhile, heat large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the pancetta and rosemary, and sauté until the fat on the pancetta starts to turn translucent and very lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, chile and pepper to taste, and sauté until garlic and pancetta turn richly brown, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, a large pinch of salt and a splash of water to pan, and sauté until sprouts just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Spread sprouts mixture in pan and press down to flatten. Let it sear for a minute, then stir it up and repeat. This helps brown the sprouts. Add the butter, and sauté for another minute.
Drain penne and add it to pan with brussels sprouts mixture. Cook, tossing, until everything is well mixed. Spoon into pasta bowls and top with a drizzle of oil and lemon juice, and a little grated pecorino if you like.
original recipe via NY Times