It’s cold. That’s an obvious statement, but when it’s cold, all I want is warm comfort food—like soup, pasta and, more importantly, whiskey cocktails. Whiskey is warming, wouldn’t you agree? I’m currently doing Dry January, so whiskey cocktails aren’t in my diet at the moment. So in the meantime, I’m consuming lots of water, pastries and whatever other nonalcoholic things I can find.
One thing I’ve been eating a lot of is pasta. Let’s be honest, pasta is great any time of the year, but especially when it’s cold out. Pasta just sort of warms you up, like a comforting hug.
Today’s pasta recipe reminds me of my lemony cacio e pepe that I love to make. These pastas are both simple and packed with flavor. Today’s pasta is not only what I’d consider a comfort dish, but it has Brussels sprouts in it—so that alone makes it healthy, doesn’t it? Just like the cacio e pepe pasta that I make all the time, I’m pretty sure this dish is one I’ll be making over and over again. Sometimes I just fall in love with a dish and like to repeat it weekly. It makes for easy menu planning. Let’s get this recipe on repeat.
- 8 oz spaghetti, uncooked
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (or dry white wine)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and, when ready, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions; cook to al dente. Reserve a half-cup of the pasta water for later; drain the pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and the fat has rendered.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until soft and fragrant (three or four minutes—don’t let it burn). Add the Brussels sprouts, season with the salt and pepper, and stir to coat.
Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced by about half, which takes one or two minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and butter, then bring to a boil. Add the pasta, then toss to coat with the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon.
Serve in bowls and top with cheese.
Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.