Oh brussels sprouts, how I love thee. Whenever I see brussels sprouts on a menu at a restaurant I have to try them. It's a compulsion. Or an obsession. Take your pick. My first brussels sprouts experience as an adult (and potentially my first brussels sprouts experience ever because my dad hates them) was the brussels sprouts they serve at Momofuku Ssam. Their brussels sprouts are tossed with fish sauce, mint Thai chilis, oil, butter, and Rice Krispies (no joke, they really are). Sometimes they serve cauliflower instead of the brussels sprouts prepared in the same fashion (which is also delicious), but you get the idea. And then they are either fried (at the restaurant) or cooked in a very hot oven (if you are adapting the recipe to cook at home) until they are nice and nutty and delicious. Yum. And then there was this pasta dish with brussels sprouts and sage at Falai that was simply amazing, not to mention the equally amazing brussels sprouts served with apples, creme fraiche and pistachios at Alta. I have heard that Motorino has a seasonal brussels sprouts pizza that I am dying to try, but I haven't made it there quite yet. I have been tempted to try making my own pizza with brussels sprouts, but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet because I haven't been able to decide what assortment of other toppings to use.
I wanted the brussels sprouts in this pasta dish to be roasted to enhance their nutty flavor. I also threw in some walnuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano to amp up the nutty flavor even more. I wish I had roasted the brussels sprouts just a few minutes longer to really give them some char, but even without that char this was a really nice dish.
Recipe after the jump!
Bucatini with Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and large sprouts halved
1/3 cup Parm-Reg, grated, plus additional for garnish
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp evoo
3 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tsp lemon thyme, finely chopped
1/2 lb. bucatini
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place sprouts in cast iron pan with garlic and evoo. Season with s&p. Toss so that all of the ingredients are evenly coated in evoo and well-seasoned. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, add walnuts and lemon thyme. Stir brussels sprouts so that sprouts flip over and walnuts and thyme are evenly distributed. Roast until brussels sprouts are nicely browned, with some of the outer leaves looking almost charred. Trust me, charred brussels sprouts are happy brussels sprouts.
Meanwhile cook bucatini according to package specifications in a large pot of boiled, salted water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to brussels sprouts. Toss in parm-reg, and drizzle in approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Toss to combine. If the sauce is still thick, add remaining pasta water until it loosens and just coats the pasta. If desired, drizzle in additional 1 tbsp evoo over warm pasta.
Serve pasta in individual pasta bowls (or plates), garnished with additional parm-reg (if desired).