The perfect brussel sprout pasta bake to use up your Christmas leftovers. Grab your sprouts, potatoes and leftover pancetta and make this super easy delicious dish for your loved ones.
Brussel sprout ricotta pasta bake
This pasta recipe was inspired by a rustic Northern Italian pasta dish enjoyed in the Lombardy region. It traditionally uses cabbage, potato and a local strong-flavour cheese using pasta made from buckwheat.
I found that many of the ingredients resembled the produce we would enjoy on Christmas day. Therefore I created an easy quick delicious pasta bake that we could enjoy using our leftovers. Plus, using wholemeal pasta will give it a healthier edge that we may want to embrace after such a gluttonous Christmas day.
I’ve always struggled to enjoy wholemeal pasta in the past. I’ve always found its stronger taste can distract your palette from the flavours of your dish. However, that is not the case with Garofalo pasta who’s wholemeal pasta allows you to enjoy a healthier option while still enjoying the combination of flavours in your pasta sauce.
Made with the best quality semolina flour in heart of Gragnano, better known as the ‘city of pasta’, the pasta produced here is of such a high standard that even the European Commission has given it an IGP status (guarantee of origin for foods produced in specific areas; Italy).
Using only the best quality semolina flour, their pasta has a high protein content, which helps retain starch, hold its shape and give that perfect ‘al dente’ texture that we should all be looking for.
Secondly, Garofalo pasta is bronze-died, which gives the pasta a rough, porous surface making it perfect for sauces to bind and cling to. So when it comes to enjoying this easy sexy dish, it absolutely up levels your pasta eating experience.
200g brussel sprouts
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp dry thyme
3 tbsp grated parmesan
125g diced pancetta
8 sage leaves, chopped
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
250g Garofalo Radiatori
300g potato, 1 cm dice
- Prep and halve the Brussel sprouts and place them in a roasting tin. Lightly coat them in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 190c (fan) for 20- 25 minutes. Set aside.
- In the meantime, place the ricotta in a mixing bowl. Add the zest of 1 lemon, thyme and 2 large tablespoons of grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything well together. Set to one side.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add and gently fry the pancetta with the chopped sage. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the breadcrumbs and cook all together for another 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. Then cook your potato and pasta as instructed on the packet. The ‘radiatori’ take only 8 minutes, therefore I cooked it for 7 minutes.
- Drain your pasta and potato, while reserving a mug of pasta water. The Brussel sprouts should have finished roasting so add the pasta and potato to the same roasting tin. Mix everything together.
- Pour and coat the ingredients with the ricotta mixture with a few tablespoons of pasta water to loosen it up.
- Top with the pancetta crumb and finish off with a tablespoon of parmesan sprinkled all over. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 180c
- Serve immediately
- Lightly coating the brussel sprouts in olive oil will not only prevent them from sticking to the oven dish, but will give it a lovely flavour.
- Replace the ricotta with another creamy soft cheese. You could aslo add other cheeses to the soft cheese, such as gruyere, taleggio or fontina to give another flavour profile.
- Replace the pancetta with bacon lardons, sausage meat or chopped up chipolatas
- It’s important to season the boiling water generously with salt so that the potato and pasta are also seasoned.
- No tip.
- Adding pasta water will loosen up the ricotta sauce and will keep the pasta dish moist when baking.
- Baking the pasta dish with tin foil on top will stop the pasta dish from drying out and retain moisture.
- No tip.
If you would love to perfect a pasta bake or another dish, why not join the Sauce club -6-week fun online cooking course to help build your kitchen confidence. Or why not join one of my fun Saucy session cooking classes to cook a new dish that you and others can enjoy.