Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Guanciale Bits, Lemon andĀ Almonds

June  8, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Preserved lemon rind and Brussels sprouts were made for each other. Tossed with pasta and topped with crunchy salted almonds, you can't help but feel virtuous when cooking up this healthy pasta dish. But I would feel a bit cheated if my Pasta with Brussels Sprouts didn't have little bits of chewy bacony guanciale tossed amongst the greens. My local butcher cures guanciale (pig cheeks) from pigs he procures from a farmer just a few valleys away. The peppery, fennel seeded pork gives Brussels sprouts just the right oomph. —Brain Health Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound sturdy dried pasta, such as fettucine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces guanciale, finely chopped
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, rind rinsed and sliced into slivers
  • 1/2 cup whole, salted almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat, and add the butter and the olive oil.
  3. When the butter is bubbling, add the shallot and the guanciale. Cook until the shallot and guanciale bits are starting to brown, over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  4. Increase the heat to high, and add the preserved lemon and the Brussels sprouts, and quickly "stir-fry" until the Brussels sprouts turn brown.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Once the pot of water boils, generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, or according to the package instructions.
  7. When the pasta is done, dip a measuring cup into the pasta water and set aside a cup of the hot water. Drain the pasta and quickly return it to the pan.
  8. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pasta and toss, toss, toss with two large forks. Cook over low heat for just a minute, then add pasta water to thin if needed.
  9. Top the pasta with chopped almonds, Parmesan cheese, salt and a few turns of the pepper mill to taste. Toss, toss, toss and serve.

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