It’s November. It’s time for pumpkin spice every thing, for trotting out the fresh green bean casserole recipe and talking how it’s so much better than the old canned thing your grandma served, and for singing the praises of Brussels sprouts. Ugh, Brussels sprouts? You either love ’em or hate ’em. Until recently, I thought I was firmly in the hater camp. People swear up and down that they’re amazing just roasted in olive oil with a little salt and pepper. Other say, no-no-no, they’ve gotta be fried. I say shine all that, go with this Brussels sprout, chile and pancetta penne from the New York Times.
As a California kid, Brussels sprouts were never on our table. So the experience of wrinking my nose at the stink of overcooked Brussels didn’t come until I was out on my own. No one had to try to fool me with, “Oh, they’re just like little cabbages.” It must have been the luxury of having access to a multitude of other vegetables. Why bother with “little cabbages” when you could chop up a big head of cabbage, salt it and turn it into tsukemono?
Now that we’re in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a whole different world. Brussels sprouts are a thing here. Tomatoes don’t hold on until November, so we’re moving on to Brussels sprouts, parsnips and cauliflower. Even if you think you don’t like ’em, this pasta dish just might change your mind about those little stinkers.