Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Pears, and Bleu Cheese

Last Friday, Brady and I made the below vegetarian pasta recipe. This was such an unusual combination for a pasta but we both absolutely loved how the recipe turned out. The original recipe calls for fresh or dried figs instead of the pear but I couldn't find either. I tried pears and I thought the pears worked great. The original recipe also suggests using some crumbled bacon on top as an alternative to the almonds and I'm sure that would be amazing too.

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Pears, and Bleu Cheese
*** adapted from a recipe on Twenty by Sixty

Serves 4 
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 T. olive oil
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, any shape
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped 
4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
1 ripe pear, cored and chopped
handful of dried cranberries
salt and pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, for garnish

Heat the oven to 400°.  Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it halfway through (about 6 minutes; it should still be quite firm). Add the Brussels sprouts to the pot and cook, until the pasta and vegetables are just barely tender, another 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and return the pasta and Brussels sprouts to the pot.        

Stir in the bleu cheese, pears, dried cranberries, 2 Tbs. oil, and a splash of the cooking water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss. Add more cooking water if needed. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan. Bake, checking once or twice and adding a bit more of the cooking water if the pasta looks too dry, until the mixture is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with slivered almonds and a sprinkle of bleu cheese and serve.

** You could definitely skip baking the pasta and just serve as is. I'm not really sure how much of a difference baking the pasta made since it's not a particularly cheesy dish.

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