We love cruciferous vegetables in all their forms and are also inordinately fond of all types of pasta. This Brussels Sprout Pasta dish brings the two together in a sweetly delicious combo for a... quick, tasty dinner. If you decide to use sage it will add a meaty taste to the cabbage. Pine nuts will add richness and protein.
Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, hold the sprouts by the stem, and slice thin. Set aside.
Salt and boil water for the pasta. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than directed on the packet. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water then drain. Set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, over a medium flame, dry toast the pine nuts in a wide skillet, tossing occasionally for even browning. Keep a close eye on them as they burn fast. Tip them into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook for a minute and add half the sage, if using. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the sprouts and some salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned and caramelized, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and the remaining sage.
Add the drained pasta to the sprouts, along with ¼ cup of reserved pasta water. Stir to mix well, adding a little more pasta water if too dry. Cook for a minute to heat the pasta through. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese if using, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a grind of black pepper. Serve with extra cheese.
Most nuts are full of oil. You don’t need to add any extra when toasting them on the stovetop in a skillet. You do, however, need to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn, which they can do in a heartbeat.