Suddenly, everyone seems to have a recipe for pasta with Brussels sprouts, and “that’s all to the good,” said Melissa Clark in The New York Times. The divisive vegetable deserves to be more widely loved, and this simple recipe may help that cause. If you truly despise Brussels sprouts, “you can always try it with broccoli rabe.”

Penne with Brussels sprouts, chile, and pancetta

  • 8 oz penne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 oz pancetta, diced 
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp butter
  • lemon juice
  • pecorino cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add penne and cook until just al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add olive oil. When hot, add the pancetta and rosemary and sauté until the pancetta’s fat starts to turn translucent and very lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add garlic, chile, and black pepper to taste, and sauté until garlic and pancetta turn richly brown, about 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, a large pinch of salt, and a splash of water, and sauté until sprouts just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Spread Brussels sprouts mixture in pan and press down to flatten. Let sear for a minute, then stir and repeat. This helps brown the sprouts. Add butter, and sauté another minute. 

Drain penne and add to Brussels sprouts mixture. Cook, tossing, until well mixed. Spoon into pasta bowls and top with a drizzle of oil, lemon juice, and a little grated cheese. Serves 2.