Fall Farfalle with Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta & Pecans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
250 g/9 oz farfalle or whatever you prefer
2 cups Brussels sprouts (I prefer using smaller ones for this dish), halved with yellowed leaves & brown bottoms removed
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
1 thick slice pancetta (about ¼” thick), coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil for frying the sage and for drizzling over the pasta just before serving
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
4-5 fresh sage leaves
½ – ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C
2. Line lipped baking sheet and/or cake tins with foil for easy clean up. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt & pepper and keep in one layer over to one side of the baking sheet to leave room for the chopped pecans, also in one layer.
3.Roast for 3-5 minutes and keep checking that the pecan pieces don’t burn. Remove them when they are toasty and reserve them in a shallow bowl.
4. Continue to roast the Brussels sprouts until they are golden on the outside and tender (another 5 minutes or so).
5. In the meantime, get the water boiling in a large Dutch oven and don’t forget to add salt once the water comes to a boil.
6. While the water is boiling and once the Brussels sprouts are roasated, sauté the pancetta in a large skillet over medium high heat until crispy.
7. At the same time, heat the olive oil in a small skillet until it’s hot (you'll know it's hot enough when a sage leaf sizzles as it hits the oil), add the sage leaves and cook until they lose that lovely grayish green start to brown (just a minute or 2) and remove with a slotted spoon. Taste one - it should be crispy. Set aside and use as garnish. Save the oil for the pasta as well.
8. Once the pasta is cooked al dente (5-7 minutes), drain and add to the pancetta in the skillet. Add the pecans, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and Parmesan cheese. Toss with a little of the sage oil and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with the sage leaves.