I know it is almost summer and I should not be eating Brussels sprouts with bacon. But last week was cool and rainy which made me crave a hearty meal. Instead of the hot and creamy pasta I usually make with the sprouts and bacon, I decided to serve it at room temperature with a bright dressing and some fresh basil. It turned out great and spring/summer appropriate! I love all the textures and flavors in this dish! Hope you enjoy it too!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Crispy Bacon and Pecan Pasta Salad
For Brussels sprouts:
8 oz Brussels sprouts, each cut into 4 pieces lengthwise
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups uncooked elbow pasta
3 1/2 oz (approximately 3 strips) bacon, cut into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon chopped pecan
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
5 tablespoons olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Set it aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400F. Place chopped Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle it with one tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt and some black pepper, and add the thyme leaves. Use your hands to toss the sprouts and make sure all the pieces are coated on olive oil. Roast Brussels sprouts in the preheated oven until tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set it aside.
While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, in a medium size skillet over medium-hight heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Set it aside.
To make the dressing simply combine all the ingredients until emulsified. Set it aside.
When all ingredients have been cooked and cooled you can toss the salad together. In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, pasta, bacon, garlic, cheese, pecans, scallions, basil and the dressing. Taste the pasta salad and adjust salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
While pasta cooks in salted boiling water, roast the Brussels + olive oil + thyme + salt&pepper:
Until they look like this:
While the Brussels roast, cook the bacon.
Make the dressing and combine it with all the other ingredients (cooled) in a large bowl.
Serve at room temperature.