Call these brussels sprouts for carnivores. The addition of pancetta or ham is traditional to the Emilia-Romagna region. It adds level of flavor that makes these Brussels sprouts welcome by even the most dedicated meat and potatoes eater.
Cavolini di Bruxelles al Forno
- 2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 shallot
- 2 ounces pancetta
- bowl of ice water
- clean dish towel
- 5 Tbs butter + enough to butter your baking dish
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- LI>Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt to the water.
- Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove and loose or discolored leaves.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water. Cook them approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender, but still firm to the bite (al dente).
- Have a bowl of ice water ready for the Brussels sprouts.
- While the sprouts are cooking, finely mince the shallots.
- Dice the pancetta.
- After the Brussels sprouts have cooked, drain them immediately and place them into the ice water. This will stop the cooking process and set their lovely green color.
- Spread out the dish towel on your counter.
- Drain the Brussels sprouts and place them on the towel. Gently dry and return to the bowel.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the shallots to the melted butter and cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the pancetta to the shallots and butter. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it just begins to brown.
- Pour the shallots and pancetta over the Brussels sprouts and mix gently.
- Add 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the bowel and mix gently.
- Butter your baking dish.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the baking dish, trying to keep them in a single layer.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the Brussels sprouts.
- Bake until the cheese is melted, approximately 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.
Note Bene This dish can be prepared ahead and baked just before serving.