Bucatini with Brussel Sprouts, Red Onion and Briny Peppers
It's been a long time since I've posted a recipe. Last semester, even after "recovering" from mono, I unfortunately endured persistent fatigue as a long-term symptom. Combined with the fact that the sun started to set as early as 4 p.m., it became near impossible to take quality pictures with natural light... That said, the beauty of Collegetown Kitchen is that exists almost like a cookbook; its many recipes remain useful even without new ones.
Here's a quick and easy pasta recipe that you can make on a weekday night and it will taste like it came out of a restaurant. The one "weird" ingredient is Peruvian Pearl peppers (Peppadew peppers work perfectly too). These peppers are AMAZING — they are naturally sweet (with a tiny kick), and they come in a bright brine. It can be a pain to buy herbs as a college student, as they are liable to go bad before you use them all, so I use these peppers almost like I would an herb. They the perfect brightness and freshness at the end of a dish. I buy a container of these at Wegmans for $2, and they keep in the fridge a solid 2 weeks. They are also great chopped up in a salad.
Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
1/2 pound long pasta, such as bucatini or spaghetti
1/2 red onion, sliced
4-6 brussel sprouts, sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
~1/2 cup wine (optional; red, white, or rosé works)
Handful Peruvian Pearl or Peppadew Peppers + a bit of the brine
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
1 tablespoon butter (cold)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Over medium heat, lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Add the onion and brussel sprouts and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook 4-6 minutes until the onions are translucent and the brussel sprouts are golden. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Turn off the heat.
When the pasta water is at a rolling boil, aggressively season it with kosher salt and add the pasta. Set a timer for a minute less than the box says for "al dente".
Halfway through the pasta cooking time, turn the heat back on the skillet to medium. Add the wine to the veggies and let it boil for a minute or so. Keep the heat low or off until the pasta is ready, so as to not let the veggies get mushy. I usually take this time to grate the Parmigiano Reggiano. I like to use a generous amount.
When the pasta is ready, use a mug to reserve around 3/4 cup pasta water. Drain the remaining water and add the pasta to the large skillet with the veggies.
Put the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers. Then, add ~1/2 cup pasta water (you can always add a bit more), and mix the pasta around with the veggies and sauce. Let it all boil together for a minute. Add a generous amount of parmigano reggiano and the butter, and mix well for 30 more seconds before turning off the heat.
Serve with more cheese and black pepper.