Brussels Sprouts, Rosenkohl, chou de Bruxelles… Those names arouse deep feelings of aversion in many people. Often it’s due to a traumatic experience in childhood, when one HAD to eat at least three of those little cabbages to be allowed to leave the table. This fight sometimes took hours and cost tears and wrecked everybody’s nerves. Most cabbage varieties contain some hot or bitter tasting substances which help the plant to scare away predators. And they do. Especially little children. That’s sad because cabbage really can taste delicious! I swear, if we started to eat cabbage later on in life we probably wouldn’t have a problem with it at all. Maybe politicians should think about a legal age…
Anyway, for all of us who have overcome their bad feelings, here is a recipe for a hearty bowl of pasta with Brussels sprouts and a creamy sauce. It’s comfort food, it’s power food and really good on a cold afternoon. I took wholemeal pasta, which of course isn’t necessary but goes really well with it.
For two people you need:
- 200 – 250 g Pasta (Penne, Fussili, Farfalle, I took wholemeal)
- 350 – 400 g Brussels Sprouts
- 1 small onion (shallot if available)
- 1 clove garlic
- a splash olive oil
- 2 tbsp Balsamico Bianco or white wine vinegar
- 250 g oat cream
- 50 g walnuts
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
Boil the pasta. Roast the walnuts. Chop the very ends off the sprouts and blanch in little water about 5 minutes. Drain. Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onions, fry on low heat and add the garlic (again, I tend to half the clove and take it out later, just for a subtle garlic hint). Meanwhile cut the Brussels sprouts in halves or even quarters, depending on the size. Also add to the frying pan and fry for a short time while stirring vigorously. Pour the white vinegar over it, increase the heat and let it boil away almost completely. It will give a slight acidity to it. Add a third of the oat cream and let it simmer until it has thickened a bit. Grate some nutmeg over it, season with salt and pepper and add another third of the cream. Again let it thicken and add the last third. Taste and season more if needed. Don’t let the sauce thicken too much, you want a sauce, right? Mix in the cooked pasta and stir until every noodle is coated with sauce. Sprinkle with roasted nuts. Dig in!
Note: Sure you can take cream if you like. And you can cook the pasta in advantage or take leftover pasta, this dish is good for reheating the pasta without it getting dry.