Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecorino

Brussels sprouts, a humble vegetable, are transformed in this recipe into a culinary delight that speaks to both the simplicity and complexity of flavors. Roasting these tiny cabbages intensifies their natural sweetness, which perfectly contrasts with the salty crispness of pancetta. The addition of Pecorino, a sharp, aged cheese, adds a depth of flavor that is both unexpected and entirely welcome. This dish, with its combination of textures and flavors, is designed to surprise and delight the palate. It’s as visually appealing as it is delicious, making it a perfect centerpiece for any meal.

Ingredients

Serving Size

  • Serves 4

Grocery Items Needed

  • Brussels sprouts: 1.5 pounds
  • Pancetta: 4 ounces, diced
  • Pecorino cheese: 3 ounces, finely grated
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh thyme: 1 tablespoon, leaves only
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise. If any sprouts are particularly large, cut them into quarters to ensure even cooking.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are evenly coated.
  4. Spread the Brussels sprouts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Scatter the diced pancetta among the sprouts.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are golden and tender, and the pancetta is crispy.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the fresh thyme leaves and grated Pecorino cheese. Toss gently to combine.
  7. Serve while hot, allowing the warmth of the sprouts to slightly melt the Pecorino, creating a delightful texture and flavor contrast.

Expert Tips

  • For extra crispy Brussels sprouts, ensure they are dry before tossing them with oil and seasoning. Moisture can prevent them from achieving that coveted crispiness.
  • Adding a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar after roasting can introduce a bright, acidic contrast to the rich flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this dish as a hearty side to a main course of roasted chicken, grilled steak, or even atop a creamy risotto. Its versatility makes it a perfect addition to any meal, whether you’re aiming for casual dining or a more formal occasion. The robust flavors of the pancetta and Pecorino cheese can stand up to bold wines, so consider pairing with a full-bodied red or a crisp, dry white.

Nutrition Facts per Serving

  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fiber: 4g

Note: Ingredients in Bold (Pancetta, Pecorino cheese) may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

We hope you enjoy making and sharing this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecorino recipe. It’s a dish that’s as fun to prepare as it is to eat. Remember, cooking is all about making it your own. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses or add nuts for an extra crunch. Share your unique takes and inspire others to explore the endless possibilities that cooking offers.


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