Pronto Pesto

You probably thought I’d swear off pasta for a while after carb-loading in Italy for 10 days. But when a recipe so good and easy comes along, it doesn’t really matter what happened last week. I love each component of this Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts dish individually, so naturally, the draw to make this concoction was quite strong. I chose to make my own pesto, but since store-bought pesto is perfectly fine, assembling this dish requires very little time and work for a fabulous meal. 

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

What You Need

  • 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 (I added an extra tablespoon or two for good measure!)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 10-15, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I began heating my water while preparing the Brussels sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.)
  6. 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.
  7. Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.



Basil Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 1/2 cup of pesto

What You Need

  • 1 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

What To Do

  1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth.
  4. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

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