Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta ~ a quick and easy weeknight pasta dinner that will make Brussels sprout lovers out of everyone at the table, guaranteed.
Tiny Brussels sprouts cooked just until barely tender, combined with a creamy lemon sauce makes this recipe extra special.
Brussels sprouts and pasta are an unexpected amazing combination. I’ve been sitting here this morning trying to figure out why.
I recently came across a fascinating scientific report that attempts to analyze world cuisines to see if there are any common patterns or rules that determine which foods are paired together in recipes. They came up with a really cool ‘flavor network’ that shows the relationships between foods in terms of their flavor compounds…have a look—
They claim that Western cuisines tend to match foods that share the most compounds while Eastern Asian cuisines do just the opposite. Interesting. It’s fun to look closely at the map and see that some foods, like mushrooms, are completely isolated. Flavor-wise, they share no compounds with any other food on earth. Same with hazelnuts and liver.
I’ll have to spend more time with the map to see if Brussels sprouts and pasta have anything in common. Right now the map is making me dizzy. Maybe you can figure it out.
What inspired this dish was finding baby Brussels sprouts at the market yesterday. I’ve seen them a couple of times in restaurants lately, but never at the market, so I was excited. The babies are from the tippy top of the stalk, and I’ve seen them as small as peas or macadamia nuts. Mind were a tad bigger, but still adorable. If you can’t find the babies, use the smallest sprouts you can find. If your store has loose sprouts in a bin, just pick out the little ones when no one is looking.
We love our Brussels sprouts here at tvfgi, and I’m always coming up with new ways to enjoy them, here are a few of my favorites ~
Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta
- 1 pound baby Brussels Sprouts
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper
- 12 oz of your favorite pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- the juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup freshly grated hard Italian cheese
- parsley for garnish
- Trim just the very bottoms off the Brussels sprouts and leave them whole. You can halve them if yours are a little bigger. Saute them in the butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Don't let them get too brown. They should be al dente.
- Cook your pasta to an al dente stage.
- Add the cream to the sprouts and heat to simmering. Simmer for a few minutes to let the cream reduce a bit and finish cooking the sprouts. You want to sprouts to retain some of their bite.
- Add the lemon and zest to the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slowly sprinkle in the cheese while stirring to melt and incorporate the cheese.
- Add in the cooked pasta and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water. If it is still very thin, add some more cheese.
- Serve with a garnish of parsley and lemon zest.
Make this Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta your own ~
- Make it with asparagus, mushrooms, or broccoli.