What’s For Dinner?: Penne with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Parmesan

Here is a really quick, tasty dinner that you can serve with a crisp green salad. It takes just a few more minutes than it would to boil a pan of pasta.

Having overindulged during the holidays you may be struggling to think about what to cook for dinner this week. I know I’m really lacking inspiration… and I love cooking. But very soon we will all be back in the school/work routine and will be scrambling to get something tasty and tempting on the table.

This pasta dish features that humble winter staple: brussels sprouts. Boiled brussels have traumatized many a small child (and let’s face it, quite a few grown-ups) for decades, but don’t be afraid: here’s a simple way to prepare them with a flavor that trumps boiling every time. Simply slicing and frying them with bacon gives them a whole new flavor and texture. This, plus the addition of cheese completely elevates this dish into something simple but spectacular.


Ingredients – makes enough for 4

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 6 oz bacon – about 6 slices cut into ¾ “ pieces
  • Up to 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ onion sliced finely or 4 large shallots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Then add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and keep ½ cup cooking liquid.

When the pasta is cooking heat a dry skillet over a medium heat. Add bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
Add the garlic, shallots and sprouts. Cook for about 3 minutes until golden. Add the stock and taste and season with salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and sprouts are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the sprout mixture to the pasta as well as the reserved cooking liquid and cheese. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and add bacon. Toss until combined and serve with cheese.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.


  1. Sorry for the slow response just got back from the land of sausage rolls and tea, turkey bacon would be delicious too as you would get a good smokey flavor.

  2. Happy New Year! Send my fond regards to the Ladies. This dish looks delicious. I’m seriously addicted to brussels sprouts. We never have bacon in the house, but I’m thinking some sliced Vacchiano turkey sausage would do the trick…

Comments are closed.