First recipe with my home-grown brussels sprouts!

January 18, 2011

Mother-In-Law's Tongue with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

This weekend, after 10 months of growing, I finally harvested my brussels sprouts, one of the first vegetables I planted in my garden. We yielded a little over 4 pounds, so it was time for me to find some new, delicious recipes to try out.

A while back I remembered seeing a pasta with brussels sprouts, and since I just picked up a box of Mother-In-Law’s Tongue at World Market (beautiful, striped pasta – like a candy cane, only better!), I thought this might be the perfect recipe to search out.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the pasta I was thinking of, with shaved brussels sprouts, but admittedly, I didn’t try too hard because I stumbled upon this recipe at Martha Stewart for a pasta with bacon and brussels sprouts – one of my favorite pairings! Two things I will note, in her original recipe she calls for olive oil to be added to the bacon fat if there’s not enough – but I can’t imagine that being a problem with the amount of bacon called for. The second thing is next time I might cut down a bit on the cheese. As it is, I used a scant 1/2 cup, and I think a quarter cup would have done nicely.

Curly Mother-In-Law's Tongue Pasta

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
slightly adapted from

Serves 4

6 ounces bacon (about 7 slices), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 large shallots, cut into thin rounds
1 1/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
1 1/4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8.8 ounces Mother-In-Law’s Tongue pasta (original recipe calls for 12 oz. rigatoni)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, about 20 leaves

Heat a dry large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in skillet. Add garlic, shallots, and sprouts; cook, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Add stock; season with salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and sprouts are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid; return pasta to pot.

Stir in sprouts mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and cheese. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; add sage and bacon. Toss until combined. Serve with more cheese.

Brussels sprouts cooking

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4 Responses to “First recipe with my home-grown brussels sprouts!”

  1. can one use chicken instead of bacon? and do you think it would work with that gluten free pasta shells found at whole foods (believe they have a rabbits emblem on their packaging,, joy something)

  2. omg! just discovered your blog. A culinary jungle of amazing!

  3. 🙂 Haha. Regarding the chicken – you could probably do that. I would probably start out with a tablespoon each of butter/olive oil, season the chicken well, and saute. You’ll need to use a good amount of salt on the brussels sprouts to make up for missing salt from the bacon. And any pasta should be fine – the original recipe called for rigatoni.

    Enjoy the blog!

  4. very interesting; will try it out !