I love everything about this recipe but the provolone cheese sauce is what really brings this dish together. Provolone piccante has a nice sharp bite to it and adding it along with the Brussels sprouts and pancetta, just rounds out all the flavours for this pasta. You’ll be sneaking spoonfuls of the sauce while you are making this recipe, just warning you now. I will say that frying up the Brussels sprouts leaves, although it’s an optional step in this recipe and takes time and oil splatters everywhere, it’s 100% worth it.
SPAGHETTI WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS, PANCETTA & PROVOLONE SAUCE
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
200g Pancetta, cut into small cubes/chunks
Canola oil, for frying (optional step)
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, optional
350g Brussels sprouts, thinly shaved
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste
250ml heavy cream
150-200g Provolone Piccante, finely grated
1. OPTIONAL STEP: Frying the Brussels sprouts leaves…
Remove the leaves from about 4-5 Brussels sprouts and shallow fry in a medium size pan, filled with about 1 inch of canola oil or any neutral frying oil. Once the oil is hot, place leaves in batches into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, depending on how hot the oil is. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt. Set aside.
2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add pancetta and cook until it starts to render and get crispy. Once cooked, remove to a plate lined with paper towel.
3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water just before al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve pasta water.
3. If the pancetta rendered a lot of fat into the pan you can remove some of it, leave it, or replace with extra virgin olive oil, you will want about 3 tbsp. worth. I like the fat left from the pancetta as it’s more falvourful. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and chili flakes. Sauté until Brussels sprouts start to become tender.
4. Add pasta to the pan with a ladle of pasta water. Continue to cook the pasta in the pan, stirring and tossing, adding more pasta water if needed. Add pancetta and mix and toss. Remove pan from heat or turn off heat and add half of the provolone sauce and mix and toss to incorporate everything, adding more pasta water if needed. Plate and garnish with more of the provolone sauce and crispy Brussels sprouts leaves. Enjoy!