This creamy Brussels Sprout Carbonara instantly earned a place in my family’s regular dinner rotation. You’re going to love this classic Italian comfort food made even more irresistible with one of my favorite veggies.
This is one of those combinations that just makes sense. Pasta carbonara is probably one of the first things a lot of us learned to make, maybe back in college, where easy but satisfying recipes ruled. I love it, but don’t find myself making it so much these days, I guess because it seems a little too simple for a full family meal. But get this — sauteing a whole bunch of shredded Brussels sprouts along with the diced pancetta transforms this plain meal into a really well rounded dish and somehow makes it even more cravable. It’s a great way to introduce kids to Brussels sprouts, too, because their flavor and texture are toned down.
TIP: Cut the sprouts in little wedges instead of shredding them if you’d like more texture. Just make sure to saute them a little longer.
This is a 30 minute meal, too, here’s the timetable ~
0-15 minutes: Set the pasta water on to boil. Put the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile thinly slice the green leafy parts of the sprouts and discard the stem ends. When the pancetta is crisp, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and saute just until the sprouts soften and turn bright green.
15-30 minutes: Add the pasta to the boiling water. Beat the eggs with 1/2 of the cheese and set aside. When the pasta is done, lift it from the water right into the pan and toss with the egg mixture, remaining cheese, and a little of the pasta water if needed to create a creamy sauce. Toss over the heat until everything is piping hot, and season with lots of fresh ground pepper.
Brussels Sprout Carbonara isn’t a fancy, complicated, or even particularly pretty dish, but it’s good old fashioned homey food that really hits the spot. We had this meal, and the leftovers, for a couple of days and we’re hooked. I highly recommend you try it.
Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.
Brussel Sprout Carbonara
- Cook fettuccine to al dente in a large pot of heavily salted water (usually a minute or two BEFORE the package says so). While pasta cooks, make the carbonara sauce.
- Thinly slice the green parts of the sprouts, and discard the stems.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the pancetta for 3-4 minutes, until crispy. Add the Brussels sprouts and continue cooking for just a few minutes, until the sprouts have turned bright green and have softened a bit.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, beat the eggs well. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- When the pasta is just al dente, remove from the pot with tongs and add directly into the skillet with the sprouts. *It's ok if a little of the pasta water gets in there too, it will help make the sauce creamy.
- Toss the pasta with the brussels sprouts and pancetta to combine, and then with the egg mixture, and the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese, making sure to get everything evenly coated. The eggs will cook as you toss the pasta over the heat. Serve asap with fresh parsley and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.
- I buy my pancetta (or Italian bacon) already diced, which saves time.
- Add garlic and or red pepper flakes as additional seasonings if that appeals to you.
- If you really really really don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this with asparagus, broccoli, or kale.