In my family growing up, I ate spaghetti but always just with tomato meat sauce. It has only been in the last few years that I have tried making pasta dishes with different types of sauces. When I saw Rachael Ray make a lightened up version of Pizzoccheri, I was very interested to see how the Italians combine potatoes and pasta together- I never would have thought of this before. I have made a number of changes to Rachael's recipe. In Rachael's recipe, she cored the brussel sprouts and opened up the sprouts into individual leaves, as well as used some toasted bread crumbs for garnish. Since I had a lot of brussel sprouts to use and I did not feel like coring them, I simply cut them in half. I collected the extra leaves that came off the sprouts and added to the cooking water about 1 minute before the end of cooking. I also omitted the toasted buttered bread crumbs, but these would also be wonderful as a garnish. This dish was also originally a meatless dish but I recently decided to add in sausage- it is delicious both ways. I also made it one time with sliced cabbage instead of the brussel sprouts- actually would be good with both cabbage and brussel sprouts. This dish is definitely one of my family's favorites lately.
Serves about 6
- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into planks
- 15 brussel sprouts, sliced in half, larger ones quartered
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 pound sausage
- 3 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1/2 tsp ground sage or 10-12 fresh sage leaves
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley or 3 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
- seasoned salt to taste/pepper
- 1/2 pound pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
- reserved pasta cooking water
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup whole milk, half and half or cream (may also use evaporated milk)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- shredded mozzarella cheese for garnish
- toasted bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese for garnish
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Boil sliced potatoes and brussel sprouts together in a large pot of salted water for about 5-7 minutes or until potatoes are just beginning to become tender. Be careful not to cook too long or they will fall apart and be mushy. Then remove the potatoes and brussel sprouts and drizzle a little olive oil and mix gently. Leave the cooking water in the pot to cook the pasta later.
- In a large skillet, brown the sausage and onion until the onion is translucent. Then stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. If there is a lot of fat, remove most of it from the pan.
- Stir in the butter, parsley, sage and salt/pepper and simmer for another couple minutes.
- Meanwhile, start the potato water boiling in the large pot and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- When finished, drain off the pasta water and reserve it. Mix the pasta in with the meat mixture.
- Add in the milk/cream and parmesan cheese and then add enough pasta water to make a sauce- it will thicken gradually. You may need to add some more water later to loosen it up more. Warm through for about 5 more minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly.
- Then add in the potato/brussel sprouts and gently mix in the pasta. Garnish with more parmesan or mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs (if desired) and chopped parsley.
This dish was shared with the following:
Weekend Potluck #15