I was that weird kid who didn't mind eating brussels sprouts. They just tasted like cabbage to me (and I loooove cabbage). I realize that most of people's disdain for brussels sprouts probably lies in the way they're prepared. They're often overcooked and mushy, slathered in butter and breadcrumbs. Who would like *anything* that tastes like cabbage-y baby food? The key to brussels sprouts is cooking them until they're just tender--preferably still a bit crisp. If you're looking for a way to ease yourself into brussels sprouts, this recipe--flavorful, a little spicy, studded with gorgonzola--is a great way to do it.
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Gorgonzola (modified from Food & Wine)
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 small red onion, thinly sliced
-1 pound brussels sprouts, stem trimmed, and thinly sliced, loose outer leaves reserved (**Note: If you're not a brussels sprouts fan yet, you may want to put in less than a pound...there are a lot of sprouts in this dish!**)
-5 large white button mushrooms, sliced
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
-Salt and pepper to taste (**I think I did about 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon**)
-1/2 pound penne or other short pasta
-4 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
1. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sliced brussels sprouts and mushrooms, cayenne, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until sprouts are just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved brussels sprout leaves, cover and remove from heat.
2. In the meantime, boil a pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to box instructions, reserving 3/4 of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the reserved pasta water. Cook over medium heat, stirring to coat pasta with vegetables. Season with more salt and pepper as necessary. Transfer to bowls to serve, top with Gorgonzola.
-Serves 4 very generously (I might even say 6)
Verdict: Tres tasty! Especially if you add more Gorgonzola (damn you and your addictive nature, cheese!). This looks like a fast recipe to make, but the reality is that prepping brussels sprouts is fairly time-intensive. Get a helper to cut them up and you'll be done in no time.