Maybe it’s because they’re green and red, or because both Brussels sprouts and cranberries are in season at the end of fall into the beginning of winter, but there is something about them that just feels like the holiday season to me. Granted, I will stock dried cranberries and frozen sprouts year-round. There is no such thing as leftover Brussels sprouts in this house (at least, not for long) and a bag of Craisins disappears as quickly as a bag of chips.
This is a simple dish that looks pretty, tastes great, and will come together quickly. That’s important, because the holiday season can be filled with hustle and bustle — shopping for food and gifts for visiting relatives and big family gatherings, trying to find the time to spend with everyone you care about even if you don’t get to see them often. It’s not uncommon to have a short period of time in which to prepare a meal, so relax. Let the bacon do the heavy lifting.
Fettuccine with Dried Cranberries and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb fettuccine noodles
- 1 lb fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 lb bacon, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 c. black vinegar (or balsamic, if you don’t have black)
- 1 c. sweetened dried cranberries
In a pot, cook fettuccine noodles to al dente. In a large skillet or wok, render chopped bacon until crispy, then add garlic, red pepper flakes and Brussels sprouts. Saute until sprouts are nicely browned, then add cranberries. As the cranberries begin to plump, add vinegar and pasta, and toss well to coat the pasta before serving.