This is another recipe I found while browsing Pinterest.
Probably late at night.
Probably lying in bed.
Probably wishing it was dinner time and I was eating something delicious.
Probably talking myself out of getting up to eat something right that second.
It’s become a regular occurrence around here. Browsing recipes on Pinterest late at night, that is.
I’m getting an abundance of sleep (thank you Grace for being a good sleeper!) so any little nap I might accidentally take results in me having trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
At least I’m doing something productive while trying to get sleepy, right?!
This recipe caught my eye because of the beautiful photograph that was displayed on the web page, but also because I love me some brussels sprouts!
I know I may be in the minority on this one, but please don’t pass this recipe by just because it calls for brussels sprouts! You could totally use roasted zucchini or roasted broccoli or even roasted asparagus and I think it would still be magnificent.
I happened to have a bag of frozen brussels in the freezer, so this recipe seemed like the perfect opportunity to use them up. Turns out their sell by date was October of 2010 or something crazy like that, but I forged ahead anyway because they looked just fine.
I didn’t tell Andy about the ancient brussels till after the meal was over though. That’s just good sense :)
After being roasted, the brussels sprouts tasted as good as new anyway so it was a great way to use them without wasting! Power to frozen veggies!
I’m sure fresh brussels sprouts would have been incredibly delicious, so I do plan to use those next time I make this meal. But the point is, go with what you have or what you can find easily. Whether it be fresh, frozen or even broccoli.
I normally use whole wheat pasta exclusively. I think it’s tasty and it’s a good way to get some extra fiber and whole grain into our diet. But for this recipe I used traditional white pasta because I was really taken with the shape of the pasta in the picture I fell in love with. It’s called Orecchiette and it was a great shape to pair with the sausage chunks and round brussels sprout halves.
Everything nestled together beautifully which resulted in each bite being well balanced. I’m sure you’ve all eaten pasta dishes where the noodles do not want to play nice with the sauce and toppings and you struggle to get a bit of everything into each bite.
This pasta eliminated that problem all together so I suggest you spring for it instead of just settling for penne or something easy.
Trader Joe’s carries a wide selection of chicken sausage without creepy additives so that’s a great place to pick up the sausage. I bought mine at Heflings Amish Market which is my go-to place for all of our meat. Wherever you get the sausage, I’d suggest getting something with Italian seasonings.
And now for the recipe!
Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts
from Gimme Some Oven!
- 1 lb fresh or frozen brussels sprouts, ends trimmed then sliced in half
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 lb orecchiette pasta
- 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into ½″ thick slices
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup pesto
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. (Tiny sprouts will take about half the time to cook) Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
- *Add a small splash of water to the pan if your garlic slices start to stick to the bottom. The water will de-glaze the pan and bring up all the delicious flavor of the cooked sausage as well as loosening the garlic slices so they don’t burn.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving ¼ cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
- Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.