Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta

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Servings : Prep Time : Cook Time : Ready In : Brussels sprouts can be glorious when properly cooked, like in this recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta. Easy and delicious.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta in a bowl.

Brussels sprouts can be glorious when properly cooked, like in this recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta. Easy and delicious.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce package chicken sausage (I used a roasted garlic flavor)
  • 3 cups thinly sliced fresh Brussels spouts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 5 large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to pass
  • 8 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked to package directions, drained with 1/2 cup pasta water reserved

Method

Step 1

Cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Slice the sausage on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 2

In a large saute pan, bring 2 cups water with a bit of salt to a boil; add the Brussels and blanch for 2 minutes; drain well. Dry the pan.

Step 3

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the saute pan over medium heat; add the Brussels and saute until beginning to brown, about 10 - 15 minutes; add the remaining oil and the garlic along with the red pepper flakes; continue to cook until the Brussels and garlic are lightly caramelized. Add the cheese and toss with the vegetables; add the orecchiette along with the sausage slices; saute until all is hot and well combined; adding some pasta water if it seems too dry. Serve with additional cheese to pass, if desired.

 

The Making of:

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta

A printer-friendly recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post

Did you always have a problem eating your Brussels sprouts?  They look like a miniature cabbage, can smell like feet, and are too often boiled into a bitter, soggy mess.

And who wants to eat a bitter soggy mess?

But Brussels can be glorious when properly cooked.  And they are a nutritional dynamo containing vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, and dietary fiber and they help protect against colon cancer.  Boiling them not only reduces the level of cancer-fighting compounds but turns this delicate veggie into rubber.  So steam, roast, sauté or caramelize them like I did in this Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta recipe and in my recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts.

Brussels can be glorious when properly cooked

How to choose good Brussels

When picking Brussels sprouts, pick those that feel tightly compacted and hard when you squeeze them. I like the smaller sprouts as they tend to be sweeter-tasting, while larger sprouts are more cabbage-like. You can buy sprouts on or off the stem, they are equally good, and they will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Just beware if they are charging “per pound” when you buy on the stem, as the stem has the majority of the weight.

 

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta in a bowl.

 

How to Prepare Brussels Sprouts 

To prepare Brussels, trim off the dry part of the stem at the base of the sprout and any loose outer leaves. You can leave the sprouts whole, slice them in half, or even shred them for a salad or hash. I love them roasted and caramelized as they are in this recipe.

I also find that by soaking them for half an hour in salted ice water some of the bitterness they sometimes display will be removed. 

What the Pasta

I used Orecchiette (little ears) pasta in this dish because I like the way it holds the pieces of Brussels sprouts inside the curve of the shell, giving each bite a bit of the caramelized goodness.  You could substitute a shell or fusilli type of pasta for the same effect.

Yield: 4 servings

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta in a bowl.

Brussels sprouts can be glorious when properly cooked, like in this recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Chicken Sausage and Pasta. Easy and delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce package chicken sausage (I used a roasted garlic flavor)
  • 3 cups thinly sliced fresh Brussels spouts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 5 large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to pass
  • 8 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked to package directions, drained with 1/2 cup pasta water reserved

Instructions

Step 1

Cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Slice the sausage on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 2

In a large saute pan, bring 2 cups water with a bit of salt to a boil; add the Brussels and blanch for 2 minutes; drain well. Dry the pan.

Step 3

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the saute pan over medium heat; add the Brussels and saute until beginning to brown, about 10 - 15 minutes; add the remaining oil and the garlic along with the red pepper flakes; continue to cook until the Brussels and garlic are lightly caramelized. Add the cheese and toss with the vegetables; add the orecchiette along with the sausage slices; saute until all is hot and well combined; adding some pasta water if it seems too dry. Serve with additional cheese to pass, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 851mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 4gProtein: 30g

Nutritional values may not be 100% accurate


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Cher on February 1, 2015

    I love Brussels Sprouts – seriously… With garlic and teriyaki, it is my favorite! I think your recipe sounds fabulous and may get others in this household on board with the Brussels Sprouts train!

      Reply
  2. posted by Elaine Schoch on February 1, 2015

    Looks amazing…

      Reply

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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
    490
  • Fat
    19g (4g Sat, 10g Mono, 2g Poly)
  • Carbohydrate
    54g
  • Dietary Fiber
    4g
  • Cholesterol
    69mg
  • Sodium
    851mg

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