Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pasta with Hashed Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

Pasta with Hashed Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2007

¾ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
½ lb. dried pasta, preferably fettuccine or another long noodle
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

In a food processor fitted with the slicing disk, slice the Brussels sprouts into a fine hash. Set aside.

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat.

While the water is heating, prepare the pine nuts. Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the pine nuts and, shaking the pan frequently, toast until golden and fragrant. (Careful: they burn easily.) Transfer to a bowl or small plate, and set aside. Set the pan aside as well, but do not wash it: you’ll use it again in a minute.

When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the Brussels sprouts. Return the skillet to the stove, and place over medium-high heat. You want it to get quite hot. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted – it’s okay if it browns a little; mine did – add the Brussels sprouts and salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until bright green and just tender, about 4 minutes.

If the pasta is ready at this point, drain it, reserving ¼ cup cooking water, and add it to the skillet with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Alternatively, if the pasta is not yet ready, transfer the sprouts to a large bowl. (You don’t want them to sit in the hot pan too long.) Either way, when the pasta is ready, toss it with the sprouts. Add the pine nuts and cream, and toss again. If the pasta seems a bit dry, add a splash or two of the cooking water.

Serve immediately, with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and additional salt at the table.

Yield: 4 servings