Suitcase Foodist

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara | Suitcase Foodist

I love Pasta Carbonara.  It is the dish I inevitably gravitate towards every time I am in Rome.  In theory it’s simple: peas and pancetta and pasta with a light egg sauce and cheese.

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara | Suitcase Foodist

Not so.  True carbonara requires a delicate balance of heat and time and whisking and tossing to avoid curdling the eggs.  The first time I tried to make it, I was not helped along by my Italian pasta cookbook I bought in Italy.  It called for dessert spoons of oil and grams of egg yolk – something outside of my American upbringing.  It was a failure.  I basically had gritty scrambled eggs and pasta.

I’ve since learned how to make a tolerable carbonara but I also have learned that I don’t have to do all the work.  Why spend time tossing and mixing when your dinner-mates can do it for you?  Once again, proving that I am at heart a secretly lazy cook who still wants to show off just a touch.

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara | Suitcase Foodist

Heat marries flavors like a boss, and this version of carbonara uses heat from the pasta and a splash of pasta water to make the rich eggy sauce come together – right at the table.  Basically taking an egg yolk cradled in a pasta nest to the next level.  When I serve this pasta, I deliver it to the table and have each person do their own tossing and mixing.

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara | Suitcase Foodist

I already adulterated traditional carbonara, so I decided to push it a little further and use some very non-traditional cured chorizo in place of the pancetta and brussels sprouts in place of the peas.  There is no substitute for the large amount of pepper you should grind over the top.

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara | Suitcase Foodist

Chorizo is a spicy Spanish sausage with lots of garlic and paprika.  Be sure to get the cured, dry sausage.  Some butcher shops sell fresh chorizo-which is delicious, but it is too fatty and won’t work well.  One cured sausage will easily make it into 3 dishes, which means money well spent in my book.

Finally – a little note on pasta.  I use capellini – the thinest stuff.  It cooks up in 2-4 minutes which means I can have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes if I push it a bit.  If you want, spaghetti or linguine would work just as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Carbonara

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 oz cured Chorizo Sausage, cubed (make sure you have the dry cured chorizo and not fresh chorizo sausage which will be too oily)
  • 1 tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 lb Brussles Sprouts, trimmed and shaved
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • (1) 16 oz package Capellini or Angel Hair Pasta
  • 4 Eggs
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Fresh Grated Italian Cheese

Method

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat. Add some salt and a bit of oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  2. Crack the Eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. The whites can be refrigerated for something else. The Yolks should be put into individual bowls and set aside for now. At the end, assembly goes fast, so I find that it helps to have the eggs ready to go.
  3. In a skillet with a little oil, fry the cubed chorizo sausage until crisp over medium heat. Set aside on paper towels to drain. If you sneak a piece or two, I won’t tell.
  4. Do not remove the oil from the pan. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts and sauté them until they are bright green and starting to caramelize. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next add the chorizo back into the pan, toss and turn off the heat under the skillet. Set these aside until ready to serve.
  6. In the meantime, your pasta water should be boiling. Add the Capellini and stir to get all the pieces into the water. Return to a boil and cook. Start testing the pasta for doneness at 2 minutes.
  7. Have 4 pasta bowls set aside and waiting. Add some of the Brussels sprouts and chorizo to the bottom of the dish and scoot them to the side so that there will be a ring around your pasta nest.
  8. The moment the pasta is done cooking, turn off the heat. Do not drain. Scoop a small amount of pasta out of the pot and center in each of your pasta bowls.
  9. Grab one of those egg yolks that you have set aside and add it to the center – creating a little nest for the yolk.
  10. Top with more Pasta and 1/4 cup hot pasta water. The heat from the pasta and the water will cook the yolk.
  11. Add a grate or two of cheese and more pepper.
  12. To eat, just have your dinner-mates stir everything together in their bowl – why should you do all the work? The egg yolk with the pasta water will create a wonderful and rich sauce while the chorizo and Brussels sprouts will add bursts of flavor and color.
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Lydia, food adulterer

February-Seasonal-Recipes

This post is a part of The Vintage Mixer‘s Eat Seasonal series. So many reasons to focus on eating quality in-season produce… to save money, to get the freshest produce, for sustainability but most of all everything just tastes better!

Check out these great posts with great recipes for seasonal eating! Enjoy!

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Rosemary Cheddar Cauliflower Cakes by Food for My Family

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