youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Hearty Wholewheat Pasta With Brussels Sprouts, Cheese and Potato

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
Print me

Introduction

It is not quite normal to feel as joyous as I do when saying the words “Brussels sprouts”, but this recipe does not merely use said much-denigrated ingredient, it also celebrates it.

Sprouts are nutty, fresh, gorgeous, and I regard this recipe as their seasonal showcase. Not Italian, you might say. Well, my inspiration for it is the one authentically defining dish of Valtellina, in Lombardy, up towards the Swiss border. That dish is pizzoccheri, a traditional winter-warmer hotchpotch of homemade buckwheat tagliatelle, potatoes, Savoy cabbage and Taleggio or fontina cheese, baked and flavoured with sage, garlic and Parmesan. You can buy pizzoccheri in boxes, with dried short lengths of buckwheat pasta, but for me it is too gummy and tastes nothing like the pizzoccheri I’ve eaten in Italy. I thought it better to do an Anglo version and very happy I am with it indeed.

It is not quite normal to feel as joyous as I do when saying the words “Brussels sprouts”, but this recipe does not merely use said much-denigrated ingredient, it also celebrates it.

Sprouts are nutty, fresh, gorgeous, and I regard this recipe as their seasonal showcase. Not Italian, you might say. Well, my inspiration for it is the one authentically defining dish of Valtellina, in Lombardy, up towards the Swiss border. That dish is pizzoccheri, a traditional winter-warmer hotchpotch of homemade buckwheat tagliatelle, potatoes, Savoy cabbage and Taleggio or fontina cheese, baked and flavoured with sage, garlic and Parmesan. You can buy pizzoccheri in boxes, with dried short lengths of buckwheat pasta, but for me it is too gummy and tastes nothing like the pizzoccheri I’ve eaten in Italy. I thought it better to do an Anglo version and very happy I am with it indeed.

Hearty Wholewheat Pasta With Brussels Sprouts, Cheese and Potato
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Metric Cups
  • 750 grams brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
  • 250 grams baking potatoes (peeled and in 2-3 cm / 1 inch dice)
  • 500 grams wholewheat penne (or spelt tortiglioni or penne)
  • 1 pinch of salt (for vegetable and pasta water, to taste)
  • 100 grams ricotta cheese
  • 250 grams gruyere cheese (in 1 cm / 1/2 inch dice)
  • 50 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 4 sage leaves (shredded)
  • 50 grams grated parmesan
  • 1¾ pounds brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
  • 8 ounces baking potatoes (peeled and in 2-3 cm / 1 inch dice)
  • 1 pound wholewheat penne (or spelt tortiglioni or penne)
  • 1 pinch of salt (for vegetable and pasta water, to taste)
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese (in 1 cm / 1/2 inch dice)
  • 3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil
  • 4 sage leaves (shredded)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF, and fill a large pot with water to cook the sprouts, potato and pasta.
  2. When the water boils, salt it generously, tip in the prepared sprouts, the potato dice and the pasta and let the water come back to the boil, then cook for about 8–10 minutes, or until the potato is tender and the pasta al dente. Just before draining, remove 2 cupfuls of the cooking liquid and put to one side.
  3. Tip the drained pasta, sprouts and potato pieces into a roasting tin (approx. 25 x 36cm / 10 x 15 inches), or a lasagne dish (approx. 23 x 34cm / 9 x 13 inches), then add the ricotta and diced gruyère and a cupful of cooking water, and toss well to combine. Add more liquid if you feel the pasta is too dry.
  4. Warm the butter and garlic oil in a small saucepan and, when melted and beginning to sizzle gently, add the shredded sage and fry for about 30 seconds before spooning or dribbling the butter and crisp sage over the pasta bake. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the surface will be scorched a light gold. I like this best if it’s left to stand for at least 15 minutes before eating.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF, and fill a large pot with water to cook the sprouts, potato and pasta.
  2. When the water boils, salt it generously, tip in the prepared sprouts, the potato dice and the pasta and let the water come back to the boil, then cook for about 8–10 minutes, or until the potato is tender and the pasta al dente. Just before draining, remove 2 cupfuls of the cooking liquid and put to one side.
  3. Tip the drained pasta, sprouts and potato pieces into a roasting tin (approx. 25 x 36cm / 10 x 15 inches), or a lasagne dish (approx. 23 x 34cm / 9 x 13 inches), then add the ricotta and diced gruyère and a cupful of cooking water, and toss well to combine. Add more liquid if you feel the pasta is too dry.
  4. Warm the butter and garlic oil in a small saucepan and, when melted and beginning to sizzle gently, add the shredded sage and fry for about 30 seconds before spooning or dribbling the butter and crisp sage over the pasta bake. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the surface will be scorched a light gold. I like this best if it’s left to stand for at least 15 minutes before eating.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • This is such a delicious recipe! Nigella is the whole reason we even eat sprouts in our family. We had never tried them until we took over cooking for Thanksgiving and made her Pancetta Sprouts from "Feast." There was no turning back at that point. This recipe is fragrant with sage, and the Gruyere cheese. It is a worthy addition in her collection of warming pasta bakes and one that my children ask for a lot! Give this a try; I know you will enjoy it!

    Posted by jtviles on 13th October 2013
Show more comments