Here I am, yet again, making a case for carbs – the pasta kind of carbs, for breakfast.
The hidden truth is that this pasta dish has an equal amount of Brussels sprouts. One part pasta / one part sprout.
I like those proportions and I like those odds. And, in the year of our Lord 2019, we can add an egg to anything, serve it in the sunshine, and call it brunch.
This platter of Brussels pasta is inspired by a really lovely new cookbook Mostly, Plants. I added the eggs because I wanted to serve it at a friend brunch at The Bakehouse alongside brunch favorites: praline bacon, fruit salad (no bananas / mostly watermelon), cream scones, Muffuletta Deviled Eggs, and a sweet potato hash made from leftover Chili Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
It was a spring dream, made even better by the sweet friends who came through hungry and excited.
I forgot to mention the cinnamon rolls. My love language.
We told stories about the worst roommates we’ve ever had.
A lot of trash can and hot water wars. You know?
The anchor of the meal was this bright green, savory pasta.
The incredible flavor comes from a bright parsley pesto combined with sauteed Brussels, al dente pasta, parmesan and fried eggs. Poached eggs would be lovely too. Heck, I even love a hard boiled. There’s no wrong way to egg.
The takeaway is that equal parts pasta and greens makes for a fine brunch pasta. You could, of course, make the pasta gluten free and thoroughly enjoy. It’s a dream and I hope it finds its way onto your plate this coming weekend.Print
- For the Pesto:
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional but really delicious)
- For the Pasta:
- sea salt
- 1 pound any shaped pasta you’d like
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- fresh cracked black pepper
- over easy or poached eggs
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.
- To make the pesto fit a food processor with a blade attachment. Add parsley, olive oil, walnuts, garlic, 3/4 teaspoons sea salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped and the ingredients begin to come together. Whirl on high speed until the mixture is emulsified and combined. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the parmesan cheese. Whirl the cheese until sell combined. Stir in a few tablespoons of cream, if using and set aside.
- To make the pasta, place the pasta in the salted boiling water and cook to al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
- Slice the brussels sprouts into thin shreds.
- In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute, stirring quickly as to not burn the garlic. Give it a minute or two. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and about 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper. Saute until the sprouts are softened and begin to char and brown (you may need to turn up the heat a bit), about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl toss together the warm pasta and the pesto. Add a bit of the warm pasta water if the pasta looks dry. Toss in the Brussels sprouts until well combined.
- Top with fried or poached eggs, enough to serve everyone at brunch. Serve warm to room temperature and enjoy!