Monday, May 11, 2015

Buttery Brussels Sprouts & Pasta

Butter's back! Sure why not. Used judiciously, it's a good fat (click here to read about benefits and here, too.) At least you know where it comes from, unlike margarine.

When Brussels sprouts are cooked they take on a slight nutty flavor and they do taste like cabbage. I was not a fan of them as a kid, but I love them now. I'm sure my recipe of Buttery Brussels Sprouts & Pasta will please anyone in your family.

And any veggie tastes even better sauteed in butter. When fresh cooked pasta is mixed in you have a hearty meal that comes together very quickly.

Just get a pot of water going for the pasta, and by the time it's done, the buttery sauteing Brussels sprouts should be ready. The whole meal only takes about 10 minutes to do.

 I slice each Brussels sprout in halve to cook quicker, plus that's more surface for butter to coat. Packaged Brussels sprouts contain various sizes, so if you get some extra small ones go ahead and saute them whole. Most are in the 2 inch tall range.

They take almost no prep, just slice of the brown stem end and remove any yellow leaves.

And 10 ounce bags of Brussels sprouts are still showing up at my local 99c only Store, so I'll keep coming up with recipes for this tasty mini-cabbage - make sure to come back for more.

Butter is not as cheap as it used to be. I get mine from the 99c only Store. It's over my price point, but you get 2 sticks per package, and I seldom use more than a tablespoon at a time. So, it's still a good value purchase.

Dried pasta is always cheap. I used spaghetti, but you can use any type you have on hand.

If you are butter averse, or vegan, then it's okay to substitute with a favorite flavorful cooking oil (like coconut) or extra virgin olive oil. It all about lusciousness. And if you don't care for Brussels sprouts (or they are too hard to find and expensive) then try florets of broccoli or cauliflower. Just about any veggie will do, like: carrot, squash, spinach and green beans.

I'm bringing butter back into my life, but not too much, just enough to make tasty dishes like Buttery Brussels Sprouts & Pasta

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • Brussels sprouts - I used a 10 ounce package.
  • Pasta - I used about 1/2 package of spaghetti. It's okay to use any favorite pasta. If you like a lot of pasta then add  more (add another tablespoon or two of butter, though.)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter - I used salted butter. Okay to use sweet butter. You can substitute any favorite cooking oil or olive oil, to keep recipe vegan.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - optional. I use chopped garlic from the jar.
  • Black pepper to taste - no salt necessary if salted butter is used. For sweet butter, then salt to taste.
  • Water - to boil pasta. Reserve a 1/4 cup to add when all the ingredients are finally mixed together.
  • Parmesan cheese - optional. Fresh shaved or dried from a container (it's cheaper.)

Start a pot of water to boil for pasta. Prepare pasta according to package directions (I usually shave off a minute of cooking time for al dente.) While water heats up you can start prepping and cooking the Brussels sprouts.

Rinse off Brussels sprouts, if necessary. Next, slice off the tough stem ends of each Brussels sprout. Make a very thin slice, no need to take off too much. Remove any yellow leaves. If some green leaves detach, just add them to the pan too.

Slice Brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise. If the sprouts are small then you can leave them whole. The package I bought each sprout was about 2 inches tall.

Add butter to a medium heated pan. Once it melts add the Brussels sprouts and any loose green leaves. Each side needs about 2-3 minutes of cooking time. They will tenderize and get softer.

Once they are done then add a teaspoon of chopped garlic (optional.) Stir and saute one minute.

If pasta is not done yet, then turn the sauteing Brussels sprouts pan heat to low, until the pasta is ready.

Now time to bring it all together. I take out the cooked pasta right from the boiling water. (Of course, try a spaghetti strand to make sure it's done to you liking.) Next, add a 1/4 cup of pasta water. Pasta tends to dry out as it cools down, so a little pasta water keeps the pasta moist, and stretches out the butter sauce.

Mix the pasta and Brussels sprouts together. Serve hot and with parmesan cheese (optional.)

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