Thursday, 10 December 2015

Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Pasta Bake


I can't quite believe that I'm posting a a Brussels Sprouts recipe. I doubt I've ever eaten them at any time other than as part of a Christmas dinner. Even then its only because I feel obliged to do so. They are the Marmite of the vegetable world and seem to have more haters than lovers. There are jokes a plenty about mother in laws putting them on to boil in August so that they are ready for 25th December. However over the past few Christmases I have found a most palatable way of eating them. Sophie Grigsons Brussels sprouts gratin with bacon, cream and almonds. This year will be its forth appearance on my Christmas table. Its so good that last Christmas I pondered that it could perhaps be turned into a pasta dish so when the little green cabbages started making an appearance in the shops I bit the bullet. I've lightened the recipe up a bit by replacing the double cream with single and losing the butter. I've also made it vegetarian by removing the bacon lardons and adding fresh cranberries in its place for a further seasonal twist. Give it a go, you might be converted!


Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Pasta Bake

300g Pasta shapes
450g Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
50g fresh Cranberries 
20g flaked Almonds 
300ml Single Cream 
2 teaspoons Lemon juice 
Salt and freshly ground black Pepper 
40g Breadcrumbs 
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Preheat the oven to 200c
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and return to the pan. 
Meanwhile place the sprouts in a pan of salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half.
To the pan of cooked pasta add the halved sprouts, 25g of the grated Parmesan, cranberries, almonds, single cream and lemon juice. Warm through and season to taste with salt and black pepper. 
Remove from the heat and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout and pasta mixture. 
Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the cream bubbling. 


I'm going to be on BBC Radio Scotland's Kitchen Cafe at lunchtime today (Thursday 10th December) talking all things sprouts along with Chef Neil Forbes. I suspect we will have our fair share of both lovers and haters among the audience. However we'll also be taste testing one variety of sprout that will undoubtedly leave everyone asking for more. Chocolate Sprouts and Boozy Sprouts from Quirky Gift Library. I bet these won't get pushed around and left on the side of the plate.




I asked around my food blogging friends for their sprout recipes and got plenty of inspirational ideas. 



First up, Easy Peasy Foodie gives us not one but seven ways to make sprouts interesting




Christmas Soup - Knead Whine

Caraway, Apple & Brussels Spout Slaw - Recipes from a Pantry 

Sensational Sprouts - Munchies & Munchkins



Finally, if you're still not converted Butcher, Baker, Baby Blog shows us how to make a Brussels Sprout Wreath.




Festive Food Friday
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20 comments :

  1. That is the most festive pasta bake I have ever seen! I am in the sprout lovers category. Yum! Love the look of those chocolate sprouts too!

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    1. The chocolate sprouts were amazing - perfect for sprout lovers and haters.

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  2. Thanks for mentioning my sprout post, Clare. Loved listening to you on the radio earlier! I'm very intrigued by ham cooked in Irn Bru! Eb x

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    1. Thanks for listening. Do give the Ham in Irn Bru a try, it really is fab.

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  3. Wow, what a christmasy pasta bake. I LOVE sprouts and I am always happy to see them getting more love in the blogging world.

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    1. I think they could do with some more positive PR! #sproutlove

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  4. I love the sound of this dish, loads of festive and healthy flavours! Brussels are a favourite here with me, only one of the kids likes them though

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    1. There's a school of thought that says it is genetic if we like them or not and to some they just taste bitter.

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  5. Replies
    1. If you are a sprout lover then it most definitely is!

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  6. This looks great - still festive but a step away from the usual way of cooking Brussels sprouts! I'm a huge fan of them (definitely a minority!) so always enjoy finding a new way to cook sprouts :)

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    1. Yup their season is longer than just December so good to have other options of what to do with them.

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  7. What an ingenious use of brussels sprouts! Loving the chocolate ones too - thanks for linking up with Festive Food Friday!

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    1. The chocolate ones were lovely - especially the boozy versions!

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  8. Oh my!!! I must try this!! This dish looks and sounds so good, I have recently converted to Brussels Sprouts after cooking them with chestnuts, cranberries and pomegranate seeds. This has to be my next meal to try using them. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare, wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year x

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    1. I do think they need some extras added to liven them up. Chestnuts, cranberries and pomegranate seeds sound like perfect companions.

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  9. Mmm this is proper festive comfort food, this! Thanks for linking up with Extra Veg, and wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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    1. All the best for 2016 to you too Elizabeth. But remember sprouts are for life - not just for Christmas

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  10. I love sprouts! Great dish. Thanks for linking up to #ExtraVeg

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    1. Thanks Helen. I bought some Flower Sprouts for the first time today so look forward to experimenting with them.

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