Pasta with Sausage Brussels Sprouts and Pesto
I’m excited to share this recipe because it is really, truly, a family favorite. I make Pasta with Sausage Brussell Sprouts and Pesto a few times a month during the winter because it is really easy to pull together and is incredibly filling. My family loves it and I use a pesto that’s nut-free for my children with nut allergies. I really love that this is a great all-in-one meal - it contains protein, starch, and vegetables in one bowl!
The longest part of this recipe is roasting the sprouts. I like them golden and crispy so I make sure the oven is really hot and I don’t skimp on roasting time. Sprouts are a fantastic, healthy vegetable and they blend well into this meal when they have a roasted texture and are coated nicely in the basil-based pesto.
I choose to de-case the sausage and break it up in to bite-size chunks when I make this dish. I prefer eating it this way because the sausage and sprouts are about the same size. However, my husband simply slices the sausage when he makes it and that works well too. Feel free to do whatever works best for you!
To add flavor to this dish we often use a mix of spicy and sweet sausage. However, if you don’t want any heat than you can use all sweet sausage and this dish will taste wonderful. My kids like it both ways! As I mentioned above, I use a store-bought pesto that is nut-free. However, a homemade pesto with pine nuts, or anything you can find at the store would taste amazing. Be liberal with the amount of pesto you use because it really draws everything together. If you find the pesto and pasta are too dry, add a splash of the pasta water to make it function as a sauce.
This is a great weeknight meal that comes together quickly at the end of the day. It also makes a nice amount so you can always save some for the next day or pack it in a lunchbox if you want. Happy cooking!
Orecchiette with Sausage & Brussels Sprouts
This is a great weeknight meal. I make it a lot in the cooler months for my family because that’s when I can always find fresh brussels sprouts in the store. I promise, once you see how easy this is to assemble you’ll make it all the time!
Serves 4 to 6 people
1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound Orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 links spicy pork sausage, casings removed
2 links sweet pork sausage, casings removed
¾ cup pesto
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the brussel sprouts with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on a lined baking sheet and roast them for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown with a crispy exterior.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic for one minute, then add the sausage and break it all up with a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage until it is cooked through and no longer brown.
Drained the pasta, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
Set a big serving bowl on your countertop.
Add the cooked sausage mixture, pasta, and roasted brussel sprouts.
Immediately dollop the pesto on top of everything and toss it well with everything in the bowl so all the ingredients are evenly coated. If the mixture seems a little dry add a little bit of pasta water as needed to add the amount of moisturizer that is necessary.
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact email@example.com or call 203.658.8659.