Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

This recipe is incredible. Thanks to Ali over at Gimme Some Oven for creating something delectable.Even if you are not a brussel sprout fan I do urge you to try this. Roasting them brings out their nuttiness and cuts down the brassicaceous taste (ooh a $5 word which roughly means cabbagey lol)

1 lb fresh brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4″ thick coins
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussel sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.

Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussel sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.) Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussel sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Ali suggests sprinkling toasted pine nuts over the top...I'm guessing that would be awesomeness. I'm also tempted to roast some button mushrooms the same time as the brussel sprouts because I add mushrooms to almost everything :) Another possibility would be to use Pancetta cubes instead of the chicken sausage!
Happy eating.

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