Brussel Sprout Pasta

As we were menu planning last week, we realized we'd been relying heavily on Asian flavors for our weeknight meals. (Probably thanks to our local farmer's market.) We were ready for a change.

We don't usually make pasta because meat-free sauces tend to be tomato-based and too sweet/acidic or cream-based and too fatty. Instead, we dreamed up this awesome vegan "sauce"--really it's more like a hot pasta salad.

This dish is full of vegetables--way more than the standard pasta sauce--and can be customized to your tastes. We added parsley, basil and oregano. Add your favorite herbs (or whatever is in season). Throw in some chickpeas (I did--the next day for lunch!) or top with parmesan/nutritional yeast. We decided to go for simplicity--we wanted dinner on the table ASAP--so the ingredients are brussel sprouts and herb.

As for pasta shapes, I recommend campanelle, mostly because it's our favorite shape, but also because the strings of sprout get tangled in the dough. Fusilli, radiatore or rotini are good alternatives.

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Brussel Sprout Pasta
serves 3-4

1T oil
1.5-2 pounds of brussel sprouts
1c veggie stock
0.25c parsley, basil, oregano, chopped
2T garlic oil {optional}
0.5 meyer lemon
1 pound pasta

1. Put a pot of water on to boil. In the meantime, slice your brussel sprouts into 0.25 inch disks. They will unravel into small shreds.
2. Once the water is boiling, add copious salt. Return to a boil and add the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the brussel sprouts, stirring every minute or two until the sprouts begin to brown nicely.
4. Once the sprouts are browned and a bit wilty, add the veggie stock, and simmer to reduce a bit.
5. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserved about a cup of the cooking liquid, and return to pot. Add the brussel sprouts and herbs to the pasta, tossing to combine. Add pasta water or garlic oil as necessary until the noodles glisten.
6. Squeeze half of a meyer lemon over the top. Add the zest if you feel inclined.
7. Serve hot, with any toppings you desire. Suggestions: poppy seeds, more herbs, parmesan cheese (not vegan), nutritional yeast, garbanzo beans, blanched almonds
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Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

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