Brussel Sprouts (Italian style), Side dish, Contorno


Let me just say, right from the beginning,that the term,"Italian style," is over rated.   I am so happy to get that out of the way.   Most definetely, the term, is over used.   It should really read, in the "Style of an Italian"  in reference to this Cook.   There are  20 Regions of Italy, 103 Provinces,  each with their own cooking styles and methods.  Italian food is not typically covered in spices, another misconception, I am here to help correct. 
Brussel Sprouts, not native to Italy, is probably one of the most misunderstood vegetables here in the States. Grown as early as the 13th century, in Belguim, they are quite popular in Northern Europe. They are believed to have anti cancer properties, like Broccoli. 
 These tiny cabbages can be quite delicious when simply blanched, then sauted in garlic and pancetta.  The addition of wine removes the earthy taste and brings new life to a bland cabbage.  Hope you give it a try and don't forget to let me know in comments.  Buon Appetito!  
Special note:  For my Kosher and Vegetarian friends, please use Italian sweet onion in your saute instead.   It will not only be delicious but very colorful and inviting on your Dinner table.
Recipe (4-6 people), as a side dish.
1 pound Brussel sprouts, cleaned and blanched in salted water and set aside.
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic smashed, to be removed before serving.
4 slivers of pancetta sliced long and thin.  
 1/2 cup of dry white wine
Some fresh parsley for garnish
A skillet with a cover  
Method:
Clean by peeling away the outer leaves from the Brussel Sprouts and place in cold, salted water.  Drain and rinse.  Place on the stovetop with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Blanch for a good 5 minutes in boiling water.   Drain and set aside.   Heat your oil in your skillet and saute your pancetta and the color changes and is fragrant.  Add your  garlic until fragrant and slightly golden.  Split your Brussel Sprouts in half and add them to the pan.  Mix and coat.  Place the lid on the pan for a few minutes.   Remove the lid and carefully add your wine.   Let evaporate until just a film of oil is left in the pan.  This should all take about 5-7 minutes as your Brussel Sprouts have been pre cooked.   Do not put them in the pan Raw, as there flavor can be quite intense and take a long time to cook.   You don't want to loose any vitamin content.   Buon Appetito!

Comments

Newlywed Cook said…
I had no idea there were over a hundred provinces in Italy! I will never look at "Italian Food" the same. Now I know there are many different styles of Italian cooking. The brussels sprouts look healthy and pretty!
I love anything with brussels sprouts! I love that you gave a variation for kosher/vegetarian. It all sounds delicious.

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