Brussels and Bacon and Cheese—What Could Be Better?
My immediate family has a saying. Well, we have plenty, and many of them seem to relate to food. This one could be called our family motto; if we had a crest, it would be on there.
“Everything tastes better with bacon, butter, or blue cheese—or all three.”
I’m pretty much vegetarian, but sometimes I’ll break my rule and go for a piece of fish or poultry. I rarely eat bacon, but with this recipe, I’d have to make an exception. I wouldn’t recommend making this pasta dish with blue cheese actually, but my family says “blue cheese” more for the alliteration than any real superiority of blue cheese. Really, any cheese is good and improves many a recipe.
This dish is light but filling with whole-wheat pasta and lots of rich flavor that isn’t overwhelming. You get to have your bacon and eat your vegetables too.
Bacon, Brussels, and Cheese Over Pasta
Makes 4 servings
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti or linguine
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4-5 slices of bacon, diced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil or butter
14 oz. can artichokes in water, drained and chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock or 1/4 cup cream
1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to directions on the package for about 10 minutes.
2. Heat olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced brussels sprouts and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, sauté, and toss frequently until lightly browned or about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Add diced bacon, sauté, and toss frequently, until sprouts are well browned and softened slightly, and bacon is crisp, or about 10 to 15 minutes more.
4. If using sun-dried tomatoes and/or artichokes, lower the heat, add tomatoes and/or artichokes, and cook until warm, just a few minutes.
5. If you want to make the dish richer, add the stock and cream and let it cook down and reduce a little bit. The amount of time you cook it will depend on how rich you want your dish.
6. Toss the bacon, brussels, and everything else with the pasta and sprinkle fresh parmesan over the top.