pesto pasta with chicken sausage & roasted brussels sprouts
So, I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s now carries about 43 varieties of chicken sausage. Ok, maybe just 10. But still — SO MUCH CHICKEN SAUSAGE!!!
Today felt like a good day to be a part of the fad, so I brought home some of their spicy Italian (I know – the least creative) variety and a batch of adorable little brussels sprouts to make some pasta. Between the two of those ingredients cooking, the house already smelled amazing. But then add in some garlic and fresh pesto, and then top the warm pasta with Parmesan cheese….and holy cow. This impromptu little recipe is definitely going down in the books. Easy, and très-delish!!
I’m already looking forward to the leftovers. :)
- 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
- 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4" thick coins
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pesto
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.) Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
This would be even better sprinkled with some toasted pine nuts!