My favorite winter-time pasta dish is Orecchiette with Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts. It is the BEST. The flavors of sautéed leek, shredded brussels, nutty pine nuts and rich browned butter meld together to create a dish that literally makes me happy from the inside out. I could eat it every night, no problem. Honestly, I would probably even talk myself into thinking it’s healthy because of the brussels sprouts. But it’s not. No, chalk this one up as a loss in the healthy-eating department, as you generally can with anything that calls for a stick of butter. It’s ok though. ‘Tis the season to indulge!
I planned to make my all-time favorite pasta dish last week but when I got home from the grocery store I realized I hadn’t put any pasta in my basket. UGH. How does a meal planner leave things off her list? Good grief. I scoured the pantry looking for any kind of pasta I could find…I saw a box of no-boil lasagna noodles and briefly considered what that would come out like. Eh. Then I saw the potatoes on the counter. Tiny, beautiful, golden potatoes that practically begged to be doused in brown butter and all of the other brussels “fixins”. Sure thing teeny potato. Today is your lucky day.
So the dish went the same way it always does…leeks and brussels sprouts sautéed in olive oil and a splash of white wine, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Butter, (much less than a stick as I wasn’t making a butter sauce for pasta, but a light glistening for the spuds0, slowly browning in a saucepan. The only difference in prep was instead of boiling orecchiette pasta I roasted the potatoes in a 375 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes. When the potatoes were cooked to perfection I tossed the whole thing together and took a fork straight to the serving dish. Ahhhhhhh.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’ve found a new, delicious side dish. I mean let’s be real, this combo screams Turkey Day. If you’re looking for something a little different this Thanksgiving, yet still a timeless classic, this should be your go-to. It’s definitely a new favorite in my house!
Happy cooking– and Happy Thanksgiving!
Brown Butter Cheesy Brussels and Potatoes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 lb. small yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered to the same approx. size
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium to large leek, quartered and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until cooked.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; set aside.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook for 2 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add a splash of white wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer until the wine is mostly absorbed. Stir in the potatoes and pine nuts. Pour browned butter over the mixture and combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.