With every bite, this pasta becomes more interesting, from the heat in the peppers, to the sweetness of the hazelnuts – it’s pretty YUMMY!


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 5 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 oz. brussel sprouts, thinly sliced; some whole leaves are fine (about 3 cups)
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup usingg a rasp grater)
  • 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • 3/4 lb. dried spaghetti
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, toasted hazelnuts, preferably peeled


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch skilled over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Add the garlic to the skilled and cook, swirling the pan, until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Remove and discard the garlic.
  • Add the red pepper flakes, brussel sprouts, and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cook, tossing with tongs, until the sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in half the Parmigiano, the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  • Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and then add it to the skilled along with 1/4 cup of the reserved water.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, tossing and adding more of the reserved water as needed, until the brussel sprouts are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the pancetta, and season generously with black pepper.
  • Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if you like.
  • Serve, topped with hazelnuts and the remaining Parmigiano.

Cooking Fresh, Winter 2015