Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo
Don’t let this freak you out.
I promise that brussels sprouts in pasta is good.
Trying to figure out how you properly spell brussels sprouts. See, I thought is was just brussel sprout, but my stupid spell check just kept putting the ugly little red line underneath the word brussel.
Speaking of that little red line, have I ever told you guys how much I hate seeing that little red line?
I HATE it.
I am one of the worlds worst spellers, so I need spell check. Like really, really need it, and a good one too……So of course I get stuck with the world’s worst spell check. FYI, the worlds worst speller and the world worst spell checker is not a good combo. Thank God for google. I google everything and luckily 98% of the time google is my best friend.
But the other 2% of the time is just not fun. That is normally when I have to call my younger (yeah, younger) brother and ask him for help. He normally gets it figured out for me.
Anyway, the point is that my spell check is terrible. So I never really thought anything of it when the world brussel just kept continuing to be underlined. Until today.
You guys, I have spelled brussels sprouts, brussel sprouts for the longest time. I mean, it’s not that big of a deal since I don’t go around preaching the benefits of brussels sprouts (but I totally could!). Still, I know I have said a thing or two about them on here.
Guys, come on! Don’t feel awkward. You gotta call me out on my spelling errors. I have to learn someday and I like to save myself as much embarrassment as possible.
Alright, now that I talked your head off about my poor ability to spell, let’s talk pasta!
Creamy, comforting pasta that has got to be the perfect food to welcome Monday. A Monday complete with bacon and mascarpone cheese is definitely a good one in my book.
I know that brussels sprouts in creamy fettuccine is not the most normal thing around, but as my mom would say, normal can be pretty boring. Of course she only said that to me when I was in ninth grade to make me feel better about feeling so completely not normal compared to the rest of the kids my age.
So now five years later, the big 2-0 just barely behind me, I am feeling pretty ok with not being normal.
It just is what it is, and I like it this way.
I figured, we put broccoli in fettuccine, why not brussels sprouts? And well we’re being crazy, why not throw some bacon in with those brussels sprouts?
After all, the pair are kind of made for each other.
Oh but wait, I forgot about the pecans.
Yes, I put pecans in this too. We have peanut pasta, so why not pecan pasta? It’s late october (November first is Friday!! SLOW DOWN time!) and I am in full fall mode. Which means lots and lots of pecans and brussels sprouts and other good fall stuff.
If you are not a brussels sprouts lover, swap them for broccoli or spinach, but I have to say, caramelized brussels sprouts take on a whole new awesome flavor. They are so good.
I honestly think it is worth trying.
This meal comes together so quickly, just like any other fettuccine.
One pan, two if you are counting the pot for boiling the pasta, and it comes together in forty-minutes. If you are a speedy wiz in the kitchen probably even shorter, but I was moving like molasses the day I made this.
If you are not into the bacon, than you can obviously leave it out to make this a vegetarian meal.
And really, if you think about it there is so much green in this meal it can almost be considered a healthy meal!
Ok, ok, ok so that’s a little stretch, but I did slim down my dad’s recipe from 2 sticks of butter and like four cups of cream to four tablespoons butter and no cream. Don’t worry though, it is still crazy creamy! A whole eight ounces of mascarpone cheese will do that for you. If you have never had mascarpone prepare to be amazed, the stuff is goood.
Sorry about the mass amount of photos today.
I had a hard enough time choosing from the two hundred plus photos I took of the meal. I just couldn’t seem to decide which ones to cut (you know me and decisions) so you get some extras today. But I kind of love tons and tons of photos anyway.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 15-20 large brussels sprouts stems removed and sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated
- 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 pound regular whole wheat or whole grain fettuccine
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk plus more for thinning if needed, I use 2%
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and prepare according to directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and then add 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the brussels sprouts in a single layer and sprinkle with brown sugar and salt. Let sit 1 minute and stir. Continue to saute for another 4-5 minutes, until bright green and tender. Now add the pecans and cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove everything from the pan and carefully wipe the pan clean.
- To the same pan add the butter, milk and mascarpone cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the parmesan, parsley, crushed red pepper, pepper, salt and nutmeg, whisking until the cheese has melted. Simmer the sauce 3-5 minutes until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add the pasta and brussels sprouts to the sauce and toss well, cook another 1-2 minutes to warm through. Serve immediately with fresh parmesan.
- If your skillet is not big enough to toss the pasta in transfer everything to a large pot or serving bowl and toss well.
Monday blues be gone!