Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brussel Sprout Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes

Long ago when I had first starting seeing this cute boy whom I referred to as "marathon man" and whose cooking capacity at the time spanned from grilled cheese to nachos, a most promising opportunity for the underdog of cruciferous vegetables arose. At a very early stage in our acquaintance, his eagerness to ensure my every happiness was quite obvious and I seized that enthusiasm in a cunning ploy to save a batch of brussel sprouts and engage him in a vegetable venture.

I was preparing for an out-of-town trip and noticed a bag of brussels in the fridge - dear me, they could not go to waste! The green spheres of goodness were still edible and no chances could be afforded in my absence of their rotting away in the crisper. When I presented them to my Knight in Shining Asics and asked if he could pleeeease make them for dinner while I was away (emphasizing my distress should they be doomed to the trash), he replied, "If you tell me what to do with them, sure!" Ahh the days where romance was still new and "no" was an impossible concept.

Though I wasn't able to hand over a decent recipe before skipping town, I did received a text message the following evening: "I just made the most delicious brussel sprouts!" He had caramelized them and served over spaghetti with parmesan. Victory for all parties involved! 1) I was flattered that a man would cook, eat and enjoy brussel sprouts for the sole purpose of making me happy and was therefore convinced that he was a keeper; 2) he gained a new skill in the kitchen and discovered the wonder of all (edible) things green and; 3) the sprouts fulfilled their true destiny of providing a rich supply of folate, Vitamin C and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Ever since then, I think brussel sprouts have been a safety net in his cooking spectrum, and I'm ok with that.

Fast forward to present. After a week of holiday gorging, getting a vengeful stomach bug, eating copious amounts of white toast, and going a bit stir-crazy, we finally arrived to the end of our holiday break. My companion offered to make me dinner and I said "Yes! As long as we can blog it." So he fell back on the good ole brussel sprouts and pasta with a tomato twist thrown in the mix. I helped with a few ideas such as marinating the tomatoes and stirring up a light alfredo sauce to tie it together. We both enjoyed our time in the kitchen and the end result was not only a delicious, light and healthy meal but also a sense of togetherness that makes a good start to 2011.

Brussel Sprout Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes
Makes: 2-3 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


For the pasta
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 T. white balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp agave or sugar
Dash of rosemary, thyme, oregano, and crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper

6 oz. gluten free or whole wheat spaghetti

2 T. olive oil
1 small shallot, sliced
15-20 brussel sprouts, cut in half (stem discarded)
Salt and pepper

For the sauce
2 c. almond or soy milk
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt to taste
1 scant T. Potato or whole wheat flour
1 T. Earth Balance
Dash of nutmeg and white pepper


Place chopped tomatoes in a small mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over tomatoes, stirring to coat well. Set aside and marinate while you prepare the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on package. Drain and set aside. (Tip: Make brussel sprouts while water is coming to a boil and sauce while pasta cooks).

In a large skillet (preferrable cast iron), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add brussel sprouts, shallots, and a generous dash of salt and pepper. Cook on higher heat until sprouts start to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and finish cooking until dark golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small sauce pan combine the almond milk, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Heat over medium until it comes to a slow boil. Whisk in potato flour and cook until sauce is thickened. If sauce becomes too thick, turn off heat and add more almond milk. When you've reached the desired consistency, add a dash of nutmet and white pepper.

To assemble, combine pasta, sauce and brussel sprouts in a large bowl. Top each serving with marinated tomatoes.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that's a lot of work but it sure sounds yummy.