Alberto’s Orecchiette and Brussels Sprouts


Whenever I think I have nothing in the house to cook for dinner, I call upon my husband to save the day. He always does!  I found myself staring into the refrigerator one evening, hoping something would call out to me, “here, make me.”

There were two containers of sliced Brussels sprouts, which didn’t appeal to me at all.   I didn’t have meat or fish to accompany them, so I couldn’t use them as a side dish.  I can put just about any vegetable over pasta or into risotto, but not Brussels sprouts! Yuk!   So I shut the refrigerator door, opened a bottle of white wine, and waited for either some inspiration to hit me, or for my husband to come home. The latter happened before there was even a glimmer of inspiration.

He didn’t need any wine for inspiration.  He immediately got to work on dinner.  I saw him fill the pasta pot with water, and pulled out a large fry pan.  When I saw him take the Brussels sprouts out of the refrigerator, I cringed!  I should know better by now to doubt him in a situation such as this, but I did express my concern.

“Take your wine and go relax inside and let me do this,”  he urged, as he gently nudged me out of the kitchen.  Gosh, I love this man!!!

Twenty minutes  (and a half bottle of wine) later, he called me in to dinner.  As I walked from the den to the kitchen, I knew I was in for a treat.  The aroma was out of this world!  What could he have done with Brussels sprouts??

You’ll find out the answer to that question when you try this recipe.  It was so delicious that I asked him to make it one week later for guests!

Recipe:  serves 4 to 6

1 pound orecchiette pasta…..or any short shape will do, such as fusilli or penne

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 pound bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1/2 large red onion, chopped

1/2 cup of white wine

1 lb brussels sprouts, sliced  (buy them already sliced if possible)

1 tsp. salt (more if needed)

red pepper to taste and black pepper to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add bacon and cook, until slightly crisp.
  2. Add the onion, and garlic and saute until soft.
  3. Add the white wine and cook for about 5 minutes until it evaporates and the onions melt.
  4. Add the sprouts, salt,  red pepper and black pepper.
  5. Cover and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until everything has blended and is soft.  Stir occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a pot of salted water.
  7. When pasta is nearly cooked (al dente, please), add 1 cup of pasta water to the sprouts mixture, and stir.  You can save some more water on the side, in case you need more.
  8. Drain pasta, and mix all together.  Add grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano.  Mix again and serve with more grated cheese.orbrussels brusselsorbrussels ingredientsorbrussels in bagorbrussels pastaorbrussels saute 1orbrussels saute 2orbrusselsinpan1orbrusselsinpan2orbrusselsinpan3orbrusselsbowlorbrusselsplated**






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