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Playing Spaghetti with Brussels and Bacon


  • 3 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 pound guanciale, pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed flakes
  • 1 rounded pint (1/2 to 2/3 pound) Brussels sprouts, cores trimmed and thinly sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • Black pepper
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Add the bacon and render 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and chili pepper, and stir 1 minute. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and season with black pepper. Toss to lightly brown, season with nutmeg, thyme and lemon zest. Once Brussels wilt and lightly brown at edges, add stock, lemon juice and butter; reduce heat to low.

Salt the boiling water for the pasta. Drop pasta and cook to al dente, reserve 1/2 cup starchy cooking water. Drain pasta, toss with sprouts and a little starchy water. Remove from heat and toss with cheese, serve immediately.