Friday, January 18, 2013

Pasta with bacon and brussel sprouts

If you don't like brussel sprouts, this dish is not likely to change your mind. But if you LOVE brussel sprouts, then hurray! I really enjoyed this dish, but it's not the best thing I've ever made. Oddly enough, the Hubster is NOT a fan of brussel sprouts, but still really enjoyed this pasta. Probably because the sauce is basically bacon grease.


  • 4 servings of dry pasta
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, washed and cut in half lengthwise (or in 1/4s. I wish I did this)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Let's do it!

  1. Boil the pasta according to directions, but for 1 minute less than specified. When it's done, take the pasta out with a strainer/pasta ladle and put aside. Keep the pasta water. While that's going on, do the rest of the steps.
  2. Cut bacon widthwise into thin strips. Fry in a pan until almost crispy. Pour out all but 1 tbsp of the bacon grease and put the bacon in a dish for later. If you're me, you'll be pouring the bacon grease into a mason jar to put in the fridge for later. It's great for making greens taste (and be) less healthy.
  3. Throw the brussel sprouts in the pan and stir to coat. Then leave them alone so that they can brown for a few minutes. Stir every few minutes so that every surface is browned, but nothing burns. 
  4. Add 2 tbsp or so of olive oil, bacon and pasta. Add one or two ladles of the pasta water, which is full of starch and will help the pasta absorb the flavour. 
  5. Stir this around until the pasta is cooked and the water is absorbed.
  6. Season with salt (I added a LOT of salt), or parmesan cheese, which will probably mean you can use less salt.

Lunch it up!

I know I have strict rules about not microwaving pasta, but this is all mixed together, and it's really not as good cold. I just put this on a dish and nuked it, and it tasted just as good as the night before. Maybe even better!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Mmm... iPhone photo...

This dish is based on this recipe from the LCBO Food and Drink Magazine. For those of you who don't live in Ontario, you're missing out on a great, free magazine. 

Anyhow. I needed to make some changes since I was dining with a friend who doesn't eat land animals, plus I had merguez sausage, not chorizo, and no black cod.

  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups frozen shrimp, thawed and deveined, shells reserved
  • 1/2 lb sausage
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup rice (I used basmati. Next time I'd go for regular short grain brown rice... less mushy)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Let's do it!
  1. Heat up a bit of oil in a pan and fry the sausage until cooked, turning halfway through cooking. Put aside for later. Slice into bite-sized pieces when cool.
  2. Place veggie stock in a pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, deshell and devein the shrimp, putting the shells in the veggie stock to create a seafood stock. Crumble in saffron. Keep this simmering, covered, while you do the other stuff.
  3. In a large pan/pot with a lid, heat up some oil and add in garlic, onions and paprika. Cook until softened.
  4. Add tomatoes and scrape up any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add rice and stir for a couple of minutes. If you're not serving pescatarians, you can add the sausage in here.
  6. Strain stock and add a couple of ladles at a time. Simmer, covered. Check on it every once in a while to see if it's done. When it dries out, add more stock. Keep going until the rice is cooked. You may not use all the stock. If there isn't enough, add water.
  7. Add shrimp  and stir until cooked.
  8. Add chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. This is where I added the sausage, after separating a portion for my friend.

Lunch it up!
This dish is really easy to bring for lunch. Just put it in a dish. No extra work needed. I made a side of broccoli to make this meal a bit more well rounded.