This one is for all my Type B chefs out there. This recipe for an absolutely delicious and incredibly easy and fast (I’m so on board at those words alone) pesto pasta dish was given to me with the most basic of instructions. I’ve found that you can’t really lose with it even given lots of variables so I don’t have exact measurements for you, but more a set of guidelines. (Lindsey, don’t hyperventilate.) This dish includes penne, spinach, Brussels sprouts, pesto and parmesan which all blend together to make an incredibly tasty dish that, I swear to you, my picky two year old actually LIKED.
Grab a bag of Brussels sprouts. At my local market they sell these pre-bagged-up teeny tiny sprouts that are adorable and delicious, but if I were getting my own I’d go with enough for 4 people. Cut off the ends and then cut the sprouts in half. Throw them into a cast iron skillet (I just used my enameled Dutch oven) with some coconut oil and salt. I probably used about 3 TBSP of coconut oil. Feel free to be liberal with the salt.
While the oil is melting and the sprouts are starting to cook, throw some water in a big pot to boil, then cook up a box of penne. Be aware right now that you will be reserving about a ladle-full of pasta water.
Sauté the sprouts until they’re getting nice and dark and crispy and yummy and okay fine, I could just eat these and be happy.
While the sprouts and pasta are cooking, find a big bowl that has a lid (you can also just place a plate on top of a bowl, you just need to make sure you can close it up.) Throw some fresh spinach into that bowl. I used about a bag and a half, whatever I had available. Dump a bunch of pesto on top. I’d say about 6-8oz. I once used a 4.5oz jar and it wasn’t quite enough.
When the pasta is ready, you’re going to pour about a ladle-full or a little less of the pasta water on top of the spinach and pesto, and then dump the already-drained-but-still-hot penne on top of the spinach and pesto. Cover the bowl and let it sit for a full 5 minutes. A full 5 minutes, you guys. Don’t be impatient.
Open it up and toss it with the yummy delicious sprouts, and throw in a small handful of shredded parmesan (if all you have is the grated stuff in the green can you can use it, but try to go for actual, real, shredded parmesan here. It’s just way better.)
BOOM. DINNER. In less than, like, 30 minutes start to finish. I freaking love that.
I have not done this yet, but I wouldn’t hesitate to cook up some chicken with the sprouts, and my husband keeps begging me to put bacon in it, so feel free to protein it up and let me know how it goes!
- Brussels Sprouts, enough for 4
- Coconut oil, 3 Tbsp
- Salt, to taste
- Penne pasta, one box
- Fresh spinach, 1-2 bags
- Pesto, 6+ oz
- Shredded parmesan, ¼ - ½ cup
- Prepare Brussels sprouts: cut off ends and slice in half.
- Place into pan with coconut oil and salt.
- Sauté until dark and getting crispy.
- Cook a box of penne according to package directions.
- Place spinach and pesto into a bowl.
- Pour one ladle-full of pasta water and hot pasta into the bowl on top of the spinach and pesto.
- Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Throw in the cooked sprouts and parmesan cheese and toss to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!