Brussels Sprouts Pasta with Bacon, Walnuts & Maple Syrup

If you’re dieting or trying to live very healthy, I need to advise you to stay away from this… This post is not for you, as the only healthy thing here are the Brussels sprouts.

Before I found my way back to Brussels sprouts, I hadn’t eaten any in over 20 years. Back in school, one of my classmates once told me they were having Brussels sprouts for dinner and when she cut one open, she encountered a worm or snail, I can’t even remember which. I found the idea of that happening to me so disgusting that from that point on even the smell of Brussels sprouts had me gagging.

Last year, though, I saw a few recipes that seemed just too good so I bought a pack of frozen ones. Took them out of the freezer one day to cook them. And threw the whole pack away because just imagining the smell of them had me gagging again.

But then, a few weeks back, I saw this Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad and knew I had to try again. I did, and I never regretted it. No looking for creatures living in the sprouts, no gagging. Just a really yummy salad.

So I started to surf the net for recipe ideas. In the end I had a handful of recipes but none of them suited my taste 100 %, so I picked a single ingredient out of each and combined those. Bacon was a mandatory ingredient, then I had a jar of freshly cracked walnuts, and I wanted some maple syrup in it. And it all had to be cooked in butter. The addition of cream was a last minute decision. I liked this a lot, and it’s on my make again list.

Pasta with Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Walnuts

250 g pasta shapes of your choice
250 g Brussels sprouts
60 g bacon, cut into pieces
handful of walnuts, in pieces
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cream

Serves 2

Cut the stalks off the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Halve the sprouts and finely slice them. [I started out with a mandolin but then found the knife more effective.] Start cooking pasta according to packet instructions.

In a non-stick frying pan, fry the bacon pieces, add butter if necessary. Fry till cross but not too dark, then remove from pan. Add some butter to the same pan, fry the Brussels sprouts until they take on a little colour, then add the walnuts.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Once the sprouts are done, pour the maple syrup over them and cook for a couple more minutes. If you don’t want to use cream, you can leave it at that. Otherwise, switch off heat and pour a little cream into the pan and mix with the sprouts. If it’s soaked up too quickly, add some more but don’t drown the sprouts in cream.

To serve, mix drained pasta into the pan and stir well.