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Spaghetti with Brussels and Bacon

Spaghetti with Brussels and Bacon


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/2 pound guanciale, pancetta or bacon, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped

  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed flakes

  • 1 rounded pint (1/2-2/3 pound) Brussels sprouts, cores trimmed and thinly sliced about 1/8-inch thick

  • Black pepper

  • A few grates of nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • Salt

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, three turns of the pan. Add the bacon and render for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and season with black pepper. Toss to lightly brown; season with nutmeg, thyme and lemon zest. Once the Brussels wilt and lightly brown at the edges, add the stock, lemon juice and butter; reduce the heat to low.

Salt the boiling water for the pasta. Drop the pasta and cook to al dente; reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and toss with the sprouts and a little starchy cooking water. Remove from the heat and toss with the cheese; serve immediately.