It's interesting how one ingredient can totally change a dish. Without the dried cranberries, this pasta recipe from Saveur would be a savory, filling, cold weather dish. But add in those little red fruits, and each bite has a slight sweetness and tartness to perk up all the other flavors. I'd eat this any time of year.
Funny enough, I didn't realize until after that I had made a similar dish a little over two years ago, which used golden raisins as the fruit. Both versions are quite delicious, so it seems wrong to pick a favorite. In fact, you can keep swapping out the dried fruit for interesting variations.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 4 ounces bacon, (about 4 slices), chopped
- 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and halved vertically
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces fettuccine (dried or fresh)
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While that warms up, toss the bacon into a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has rendered some of its fat and is crisp, five to seven minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the Brussels sprouts cut-side down. Cook, making sure not to stir them, until they are browned, about two minutes. Add the onion slices, stir, and cook until the onions are translucent, about four minutes.
Pour in the broth, vermouth, and dried cranberries. Stir well. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sprouts are very tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging. When done, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, and drain the pasta in a colander. Then toss the pasta into the skillet along with the pasta water. Turn heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, until the pasta is well coated and the liquid has evaporated, one to two minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan and the cooked bacon.