Sunday, March 6, 2011

Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Brown-Butter Pecans



I don't know about you but I love and adore roasted Brussels sprouts and would happily eat them several times a week, as long as they are caramelized, salty, crunchy and served in abundance. Even better that they're good for you too. I think many of us have bad memories of eating overboiled, waterlogged, soggy, smelly Brussels sprouts as we were growing up, but I'm pretty sure that's just because maybe our moms didn't know how to make them any other way. Luckily my whole family now likes them this way too and I loved the idea of pairing them with a pasta... combining two of our favourite things. Really beautiful creamy sauce, although a bit rich, and the toasted pecans added great crunch.
To cut down on the fat, I used half milk and half cream for the sauce, and reduced the amount of blue cheese because my kids find it too strong tasting. I wish I'd doubled the amount of roasted Brussels sprouts because I found myself trying to fish them out of the leftover pasta, much to Q's disdain. Waste not, want not.



Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Brown-Butter Pecans
adapted from Fine Cooking

20 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed (4 cups)
splashes of extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. dried orecchiette
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 large shallots, minced
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled (1 cup)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

You can use a food processor fitted with the medium (4 mm) slicing disk to slice the Brussels sprouts or just cut them thinly with a knife. Throw them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with some olive oil and salt and pepper, and toss until well coated. (Make extra if you love them. This is where I made my mistake.) Roast, stirring once about halfway through the cooking time, until they are tender and flecked with charred bits, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette until just al dente.

In a medium heavy-duty skillet, melt a knob of butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is deeply browned and the pecans are toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the shallots of the pan, adding a tiny bit more butter if you need to, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream (I did half cream and half milk) and bring to a simmer. Take it off the heat and add most of the Gorgonzola (leave a bit for garnish) and stir until melted.

Drain the orecchiette and return it to the pot. Add the Brussels sprouts, Gorgonzola sauce, and lemon juice and toss well. Serve, sprinkled with the pecans and the remaining Gorgonzola.

Rest of the week

March 4 Pizza night

March 5 Oriecchette with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Brown-Butter Pecans with tossed salad

1 comments:

pat said...

That sounds so scrumptious, I must go buy ingredients today!

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