CLASSIC pasta pappardelle with brussel sprouts and ham








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In the winter brussel sprouts are not only available but are an excellent choice to add greenery to the winter culinary landscape. (Brussel sprouts lovers have no interest in seasons -- they love their brussels 24/7).

Pasta recipes with brussels are not easy to find. Herewith we have a recipe from Saveur. It is the creation of Missy Robbins, one of this country's superb chefs -- at Spiaggia in Chicago and then A Voce in New York.

for the sauce:

  • four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • three cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • three cups brussel sprouts cut into fourths
  • one and one-half cup chicken stock
  • three tablespoons butter
  • four ounces of pancetta
  • one sprig rosemary
  • one-half cup pecorino roman cheese
  • salt and pepper

for the pasta:

Wash the brussel sprouts, trim off the bottoms, discard the outer lesaves that fall off, and cut into quarters. Parboil the brussel sprouts for five minutes to get them partially soft.

Cut the pancetta into small quarter-inch, cubes.

In a sauté pan over medium heat put in the olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook for fifteen seconds. Add the pancetta and cook for two minutes, stirring. Add the brussel sprouts and sauté until soft, and golden, about three minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Add the chicken stock and the sprig of rosemary. Cook for an additional two to three minutes.

Get five quarts of water up to a boil.  Add two tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Reserve a half cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Re-heat the sauce; add the pappardelle to the sauce. Add the butter. Stir. There should be a small amount of liquid, from the chicken broth, but just enough to moisten the pasta. If dry, add some of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir again. Put the cover on the sauté pan, turn up the heat, and steam it. This will make sure the pappardelle will be very hot for serving. Stir in gently the pecorino.

Serve. Add a dollop (we love that word) of ricotta if you wish and drizzle a few drops of olive oil on the serving. And a twist of the pepper mill.


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