Saute Shaved Brussels Sprouts For Nutty Flavors In Pasta

Brussels sprouts are unjustly villainized, sometimes for their smell, other times for their flavor. Whatever the reason, don't give up on them just yet. Changing your stance on these bite-sized sprouts can actually be as straightforward as shredding and sauteeing them. Helpful to unlock the cruciferous vegetable's buttery and nutty goodness, sauteed and shaved Brussels sprouts make the perfect addition to enhance pasta and bring flavors together. 

If you're wondering why shred Brussels sprouts in the first place, we've got answers. Along with adding visual appeal and improving texture, shaving can also ease sprout-haters into the idea of eating the tiny light-green orbs. Not to mention that it's simple to do whether by hand, mandoline, or even with a food processor. Yet, despite shaved Brussels sprouts being typically used in fresh salads for some crunch, serving them raw accentuates their earthy and bitter qualities, which might not suit everyone's palate. Instead, cooking the veggies renders them tender and sweeter. Our method of choice? Sauteeing. It's quick and easy to execute. Plus, it allows shaved sprouts to hold their shape as they brown and develop toasted flavors that echo the sprouts' natural nuttiness. Teeming with complexity, there's no denying that pasta is the ultimate canvas for these sprouts to shine.

How to craft a superb Brussels sprout pasta

Working shredded Brussels sprouts into a pasta dish can easily be done by using the sauteed sprouts as the base for any number of sauces. Additional ingredients can then be incorporated to enrich or balance the vegetable's flavor however you desire. That said, we have a few ideas for what to pair with the woodsy and warm little sprouts if you're at a loss.

Keeping shaved Brussels sprouts at the forefront, you can add them to a simple all'aglio e olio, creamy alfredo, or brown butter sauce for a pop of color and some gustatory depth. From there, you can build on the sprouts' nutty nuances by introducing toasted pine nuts, sliced almonds, or even a spoonful of decadent walnut pesto. To further emphasize umami, fry up fatty pancetta or mix in some miso. Otherwise, zesty lemon juice or sweet shredded apple can neutralize any remaining vegetal bitterness and impart another layer of flavor. Given the many ways to experiment with shaved and sauteed Brussels sprouts, how will you work them into your next pasta recipe?