Dinner Tonight: Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Golden Raisins and Pasta

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Dinner Tonight: Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Golden Raisins and Pasta
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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

We all know brussels sprouts and bacon love each other—that's just a fact. But who knew raisins should tag along with these two? This may sound like a chaotic dish but it's actually perfectly balanced. The raisins hit the high sweet notes, the brussels sprouts the bitter middle, while the bacon adds a pleasing savory bass.

I suppose by now everyone has heard that brussels sprouts are actually tasty. Sautéing them in bacon fat works wonders, along with a final braising with the raisins to soak up all the flavor. All thanks goes to the food website Blue Kitchen, known for its simple but delicious recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3/4 cup shallots, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces pasta (spaghetti or linguine)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Add the bacon and olive oil to a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Sauté until the bacon is nearly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on some paper towels.

  2. 2.

    Toss in the brussels sprouts and shallots and cook in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. The Brussels sprouts should start to brown.

  3. 3.

    Pour in the broth and vermouth, and sprinkle in the raisins. Bring pan to a boil, dislodging any browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sprouts are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the bacon back to the pan just to warm it up.

  4. 4.

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When al dente, transfer the pasta to the skillet and cook over high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grate some parmesan on top, and serve.

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