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