Monday, February 3, 2014

Creamy Brussels' sprouts pasta with dried figs and bacon.

I am one of those people who love Brussels' sprouts. Sometimes I feel like we are some kind of a rare breed that only acknowledge that we like these funny little vegetables if someone else talks about it first. Because if we don't have a partner in crime, everyone else is just going to look at you as if you look like Cousin It from the Adams Family and move as far away as possible from you. At least when you're not the only person, you have someone to stand by your side.

I tend to be the person that admits they love sprouts and much too often do I stand alone.

This is why I came up with this recipe which will have everyone go bananas for sprouts! ;) Before actually making it and eating it, I described this new idea for a blog post to my mum. She thought I was nuts. Her reaction was the Dutch version of "ew". Now that I have made it and tasted it and made others taste it too I can officially say this was not a random crazy brainwave!

This is a quick pasta recipe, good for those busy days where you don't want a lot of washing up to do after you have had a nice dinner. For a veggie version you can leave out the bacon, but because there is no salt in the original recipe, you might want to add some if you're not using the bacon.

What do you need? (2 people)

- 500g Brussels' sprouts, finely sliced and shredded (slice your sprouts and then cut each slice in "sticks") This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, I promise ;)
- a couple of dried figs sliced and diced into small cubes (don't use too many - see them more as a condiment. Two is fine for this amount of sprouts)
- some soy-based cream or normal cream, whichever you prefer
- a pack of streaky smoked bacon or pancetta cut into "matchsticks" -lardons- You can leave this out if you want it veggie.
- pepper
- some olive oil or a small knob of butter
- pasta, boiled as per the directions on the packaging. I reckon 250g should be more than enough for 2 people :)

- salt, only if you are not using any bacon!

 What do you need to do?

Take a large frying pan and heat some olive oil or butter. Add the Brussels' sprouts and leave to cook while stirring from time to time. Make sure they don't dry up but when some of them have a nice brown edge, it is time to take it to the next delicious level!
Add the figs and cooked bacon and heat through everything before adding the cream.
When you add the cream, you want to just cover the vegetables and bacon, not make it drown in sauce. I always add about half of a small carton of cream and heat it through as well. Then add your pasta to the "sauce", mix and leave it to bubble a little longer. You can add a little more cream at this point if you like, but the sauce is not meant to be white. Just nicely cooked through adding some creaminess to the sprouts and bacon.

 Finish by adding some pepper (and salt if you're not using any bacon) to taste. You can serve this pasta with some parmesan or gran padano should you like some extra cheese. But it's pretty good on its own too ;)


  1. And here it is: your first feedback comment to this dish :)
    It really is delicious!! Quick, easy, fresh and a new and exciting combination.
    I also added an onion and some garlic from my little garlic mill… don’t take it personally though, we simply add onions and garlic to EVERY dish  But it blended in nicely…
    Also a tip: don’t exaggerate the figs. I think I added a bit too much (about 5 or 6 I think). Three should be more than enough I figure, since otherwise it kind of dominates your dish too much. It should give it that sweet and slightly crispy note, but in our case it was too sweet which, in the end, started to “bore” a bit… But that was my fault  and with less figs, it should be perfect!
    I also used spirelli, just because I had a package of a kilo still open. Yes, a kilo… I buy my pasta in kilo’s sometimes, and yes… we eat those. Granted, not at once, but still, in two or three times with two people… Cause seriously Alicia, 250 gr???? For us???? Think AGAIN ;-)

  2. Hey Tessa :)

    Thanks for your feedback. Indeed - the figs should be used as a codniment rather than an extra ingrediƫnt to the pasta. I am very happy you liked it, even though you added too many figs ;) I hope you will try it again with less fruit ;) x