Brussels Sprouts with Leeks, Lemon and Pasta

brussels sprouts with leeks, lemon and pasta

One of the great troubles I find in cooking is getting good side dishes to go with whatever else I’m serving. With few fresh vegetables available from local sources, you really don’t have a lot to choose from. But this one, you can serve either as a light main serving or as a side, depending on the situation, and the Brussels sprouts with leeks and pasta are very good in both cases.

I saw the first such recipe on a Bon Appetite site and after researching it, found several others that were similar, and decided to make my own version, with a little bit more pasta and a lot more lemon and garlic. You can play with this recipe a good bit without ruining it, and come up with your own version, if you like. It’s really that easy. And I love the nice brownness that really makes the Brussels sprouts come alive.

Brussels Sprouts with Leeks, Lemon and Pasta
You can serve this as a light main serving or as a side, and the Brussels sprouts with leeks and pasta are very good in both cases.
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  1. 1 pound brussels sprouts
  2. 1 large (or two small) leeks, white and pale-green parts
  3. 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  4. Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
  5. 2 lemons, zest removed with a vegetable peeler, and then cut into very thin strips
  6. 4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 12 ounces pasta (use shells, rigatoni or other large pasta pieces)
  9. 2-3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
  1. Trim brussels sprouts with a paring knife, then snap off several dark outer leaves from each; set aside. Cut sprouts into quarters or halves. Cut the leeks into both half-inch slices and much thinner pieces. About half of each works well.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add brussels sprout quarters and large leek rings; season with salt and pepper and cook undisturbed until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned all over and tender, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add remaining zest along with sliced leek, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until garlic and leek are golden, about 4 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 8–10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  5. Add pasta to skillet Brussels sprout quarters and leek rings, and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid; toss to combine. Bring to a simmer, then gradually add Parmesan, tossing constantly.
  6. Cook, shaking skillet to toss pasta and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until pasta is finished and sauce is thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
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