Okay, first things first. You all melted my heart to mush with all your kind words on my big blogging milestone. Yesterday was really special…thank you. Lots and lots!
To keep the good times rollin’, I bring you a pasta recipe that won over my entire family.
My dad didn’t complain about the garlic.
My husband didn’t complain about the lack of meat.
And my mom went back for seconds.
Recently, I was reading a message board thread about “best pasta recipes” and just the sound of this recipe title made it very clear that this recipe was a must-make. That…and I had a large bag of brussels sprouts that were on their last leg. Thrifty am I!
This recipe makes a lot, which made it perfect for entertaining. My mom and I were able to tag-team the brussels sprouts while hubs and dad kicked around a soccer ball with Lily. I had just filled the wine glasses, handing one to all while bringing this meal together, and lickety split… dinner was ready.
I made the mistake of serving dinner before photographing dinner. Everyone went back for seconds and I was sitting there (silently!), secretly hoping there would be leftovers to photograph. Worst case scenario, I would have to make this again before posting the recipe…but there was just enough left to take a few shots (which my mother, once again, had to observe and smile at).
I gave my dad the “job” of setting the scene. This required him to grab from a pile cloth swatches I pick-up on occasion from local fabric stores. I think he did a pretty good job…those pretty greens to accent the green in the brussels sprouts. Perhaps my dad has a calling as food scene designer? Who knew! 😉
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola & Pecans adapted from Fine Cooking and Books-n-Cooks
4 cups (20 oz) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced to shred
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
13.25 oz lb whole wheat shells or orecchiette
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup (2 oz) chopped pecans, coarsely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup (3 oz) Gorgonzola, crumbled
Preheat oven to 500 F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange brussels sprouts in a thin layer on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring half-way through.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 9-11 minutes until al dente; drain.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add pecans, cooking until pecans are toasted and butter is browned, about 3 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently. With a slotted spoon, remove pecans and place on a plate. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Cook garlic until softened, another 3 minutes, still stirring frequently. Add half and half and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and add 3/4 cup Gorgonzola, stirring until melted.
In a serving bowl, toss pasta, pecans, Brussels sprouts, and Gorgonzola-cream sauce. Serve immediately.
Yield: 7 servings (about 1 1/2 cup each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 400 calories; 18.7 g. fat; 22 mg. cholesterol; 343 mg. sodium; 49.4 g. carbohydrate; 8.9 g. fiber; 12.4 g. protein
Result: We couldn’t get enough. My family, and Mr. P, loved this recipe. My parents, both, couldn’t stop raving about it! I love that there’s TONS of brussels sprouts in the dish so it really is an all-in-one pasta dish that helps to keep the calories down, carbohydrates in check, and add loads of fiber. The original recipe called for heavy cream, for which I subbed in half and half…which cut the calories and fat by…a lot! With the gorgonzola in the sauce, you may even be able to get away with a whole milk or 2% option in this sauce to reduce the fat and calories a bit further, if desired. This meal was 400 well spent calories, that’s for sure…delicious! And ready in about 35 minutes…even less if you do your prep (brussels sprout shredding) ahead of time. Enjoy!
And…more giveaways to celebrate Prevention RD’s 1,000,000th view!
ONE lucky reader will win a package from Eggland’s Best including: 2 dozen egg coupons (any variety – classic, organic, or cage-free), 1 free Hard Cooked and Peeled variety coupon, a spatula, whisk, apron, cutting board, mixing bowl, bowl scrapper, coffee mug, a plush egg, and a tote bag.
THREE lucky winners will each win 6 Larabars (3 of each of my favorite flavors: banana bread and cherry pie!) or a variety pack of 6 different flavors!
To enter to win, please leave a comment with you’re having for breakfast or had for breakfast today!
This giveaway will run through Sunday, April 15th at 10pm EST. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email. Open to US and Canada residents.