Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Tempeh Bacon Pasta

I hated brussels sprouts as a child.  This was because the only type I was exposed to were the brownish green smelly nasty overcooked frozen ones which were a far cry from fresh sprouts.  They had an off flavor, the butter they were swimming in was doing nothing to disguse it, and were mushy...not something you want to be feeding a 5 year old you are trying to teach to like vegetables.  So, I didn't like them for most of the 25 years of my life, that is until I started cooking my own food and buying my own fresh veggies.  When I decided to give them a try I was pleasantly surprised that roasting them makes them irrisistable, and I have been cooking them this way ever since!  I am sorry to all of you who are fans of steaming them...but it just doesn't do the little cabbages justice!  No, roasting is superior in my book, and when you do so, you are creating something that is hard to stop eating.  If you are roasting them to put in a dish, you better roast extra, as you are going to snack on quite a few in the process!  I have said it before, but they are like savory candy, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle!  If you have thought brussels sprouts were gross in the past, try roasting some and I can almost guarantee you will change your mind, unless you are a die hard veggie hater and in that case what are you doing reading this blog?  So...now that I have talked them up, I will tell you about a delicious recipe I recently used them in!  Many people like to pair them with bacon, so I thought why not tempeh bacon?  I made a whole wheat pasta and combined tempeh bacon, the sprouts, some walnuts and shallots, and it was a simple, but delicious dinner.  No sauce cooking required, I just splashed the pasta with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and it was wonderful...the tangy balsamic with the smokey bacon, crispy sprouts, toasty nuts and savory onions!  I ate a huge pile, because it was so good, and I was really hungry!  Here is the recipe if you are interested!

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Tempeh Bacon Pasta
Serves 3

1 lb organic brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
olive oil

8 oz whole wheat penne
sea salt

1 8 oz pkg tempeh bacon
2 large shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 Tbsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 475 degrees with the rack at the top position.  Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  Toss sprouts with just enough olive oil to coat and spread out on sheet.  Roast in the oven until tender and starting to brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Meahwhile, add a couple Tbsp olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, and add tempeh bacon strips.  cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Remove from pan, let cool slightly and chop into small pieces.  Add shallots to the pan and cook until soft and starting to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes.  Add garlic to the pan, as well as walnuts, and thyme and cook for a minute until garlic is fragrant.  Add the pasta and brussels sprouts, as well as sea salt and freshly ground pepper, balsamic and a couple Tbsp more olive oil.  Cook until warmed through and serve! 


Carolyn @ texaseats said...

This looks pretty darn good. I love brussel sprouts actually.

Anonymous said...

I love brussel sprouts, but have never thought of adding them to pasta. Thanks for sharing!

Mama Cupcake said...

I actually never have had brussel sprouts. I think its time to try especially with pasta!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I don't mind foregoing meat on most days, though I never really could get into meat substitutes. Still, I have to say your pasta dish does look very inviting and penne just happens to be my all time favourite short pasta! Great photo :)