Brown Butter Pasta With Shaved Brussels Sprouts Recipe

This delicious brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts, courtesy of recipe developer Tanika Douglas, features a harmonious blend of nutty brown butter, delicate sauteed Brussels sprouts, and the comforting embrace of orecchiette pasta. What makes this dish a standout isn't just the simplicity of its ingredients, but the thoughtful combination of flavors and textures. 

"The Brussels sprouts are thinly sliced and caramelized until golden, bringing a gentle crunch and subtle sweetness that perfectly complements the richness of the brown butter. Shallots and garlic are sauteed to fragrant perfection, adding layers of savory depth and creating a memorable dish that is sure to become a favorite," Douglas describes.

The nooks and crannies of the orecchiette cradle the brown butter and vegetables, while the roasted almonds add a satisfying crunch. The Parmesan lends its salty nuttiness, and the vibrant parsley imparts a burst of freshness that brightens the dish. Out of all these perks, what truly makes this recipe shine is its ability to effortlessly transform a few simple ingredients into a beautiful meal. With minimal steps, you're rewarded with a dish that not only tastes fantastic but is also deeply satisfying. 

Gather the ingredients for this brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts

To create this delicious recipe, you will need Brussels sprouts, orecchiette pasta, butter, olive oil, shallots, garlic cloves, roasted almonds, grated Parmesan, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. 

Brussels sprouts are the most integral ingredient in this recipe, and they are renowned for their versatility and nutritional prowess. These miniature cruciferous vegetables are readily available throughout the year, but their peak season spans from late fall to early spring, offering optimal freshness and flavor. In this pasta recipe, their presence isn't just about their availability; it's about their remarkable ability to transform. Douglas says, "Shaved into thin ribbons, they caramelize beautifully, developing a delicate sweetness while crisping up and becoming perfectly golden brown." Beyond their taste and texture, Brussels sprouts add a nutritional punch of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a wholesome addition to this delectable pasta dish.

As far as ingredient substitutions, Douglas states, "While shallots provide a beautiful sweetness to this dish, if you are unable to source them, onions are a fantastic alternative. In the same realm, parsley adds a wonderful vibrant, green freshness to the pasta, though fragrant basil also makes a brilliant substitution."

Step 1: Prep the Brussels sprouts

Finely slice the Brussels sprouts, trimming off and discarding the ends.

Step 2: Cook the orecchiette

Cook orecchiette in boiling water for 8 minutes or until al dente.

Step 3: Reserve some pasta water

Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain orecchiette and set aside.

Step 4: Make the brown butter

While the pasta cooks, place a large pan over medium heat and add the butter. Cook for 2 minutes or until foamy and golden brown.

Step 5: Cook the Brussels sprouts

Add olive oil and shaved Brussels sprouts and saute for 5 minutes, stirring intermittently, until starting to caramelize and turn golden brown around the edges.

Step 6: Add the shallots and garlic

Add shallots and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent.

Step 7: Combine the sauce and pasta

Add the cooked orecchiette, reserved pasta water, almonds, half of the Parmesan, ¾ cup chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir over heat until well combined and the pasta water has been absorbed.

Step 8: Serve the pasta

Divide the pasta into bowls.

Step 9: Garnish the pasta

Garnish with remaining Parmesan and parsley leaves before serving.

Can I substitute the orecchiette with another shape in this brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts?

Substituting orecchiette with another type of pasta is entirely feasible and makes this recipe incredibly versatile. Orecchiette's distinctive concave shape captures the sauce beautifully and provides a unique texture, but several pasta varieties can seamlessly step in to offer a similar experience. Consider using farfalle, penne, or fusilli as alternatives. Farfalle, with its bow-tie shape, has ridges that can hold the sauce effectively, while penne's hollow tubes allow for the infusion of flavors into each bite. Fusilli, with its corkscrew spirals, provides ample surface area to cling to the sauce, ensuring a satisfying mix of flavors in every forkful.

The key to selecting a substitute lies in considering the pasta's shape and texture to complement the other ingredients. Opt for shapes that can capture the sauce and accompaniments for a pleasing mouthfeel. While the pasta's cooking time might vary slightly, always aim for a similar al dente texture. Whether you use the charming ear-like shape of orecchiette or another pasta variety, this versatile recipe's core flavors and dynamics will still shine through, offering a delightful dining experience that's tailored to your taste.

Can I prepare this brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts in advance?

Fully cooking this brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts and then storing it for later consumption is a wonderful way to get ahead on meal preparation and produce a delicious lunch or dinner without the fuss. 

Preparing the entire dish in advance allows for a ready-made meal that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This is especially advantageous for busy days or when planning family dinners. Simply cook the pasta as directed, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. The melding of flavors during storage often enhances the overall taste, delivering a richer and more developed dish upon reheating. Prior to serving, heat the pasta in the microwave or on the stove until warm, then enjoy. The convenience factor of this recipe cannot be overstated! 

Brown Butter Pasta With Shaved Brussels Sprouts Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
Ear-shaped orecchiette are the perfect vehicle for nutty brown butter, crispy shaved Brussels sprouts, and savory Parmesan.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
hand taking fork of orecchiette pasta with parmesan and parsley in bowl
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 8 ½ ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¾ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves + ¼ cup whole fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Finely slice the Brussels sprouts, trimming off and discarding the ends.
  2. Cook orecchiette in boiling water for 8 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain orecchiette and set aside.
  4. While the pasta cooks, place a large pan over medium heat and add the butter. Cook for 2 minutes or until foamy and golden brown.
  5. Add olive oil and shaved Brussels sprouts and saute for 5 minutes, stirring intermittently, until starting to caramelize and turn golden brown around the edges.
  6. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent.
  7. Add the cooked orecchiette, reserved pasta water, almonds, half of the Parmesan, ¾ cup chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir over heat until well combined and the pasta water has been absorbed.
  8. Divide the pasta into bowls.
  9. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and parsley leaves before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 806
Total Fat 44.9 g
Saturated Fat 18.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 71.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 73.3 g
Dietary Fiber 11.4 g
Total Sugars 10.2 g
Sodium 777.0 mg
Protein 32.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe