Thyme and Brussel Sprout Pasta

Brussel sprouts are in fact tiny cabbages. I knew it! Ok, well they're at least in the same family. I had to Google it, but I knew it. They're basically little cabbage bud that grows on a stalk. And you can grow them in containers?! I found that out when I did a quick Pinterest search to show you brussel sprouts on a stalk. I'm actually really excited to do this now. One thing always leads to another in this line of work. Plus I just love growing things. You may or may not have noticed that I skipped The Pineapple Project this weekend, well that's because not too much has changed since Wednesday, which is fine, but hopefully next weekend I'll have something to report. What that has to do with pasta, I don't know, but that bit was for those of you who read daily. 

Another thing I learned in my Brussel sprout research was that the strong smell these little veggies are known for typically only happens when they're boiled, or rather, over boiled. So, if you prefer to pan-fry that would be fine, or as far as boiling goes, here's what you do so they don't stink and get cooked properly. (There's also an awesome recipe in there, that I'll need to try soon.) I feel like everyone should know this, because again during my research, these are the most hated vegetable in the U.S., which is sad to me, because I really like them. Also they're a good source of vitamins K, A, and have more vitamin C than an orange. Also in the mineral department they are high in selenium, which is good for your thyroid, and also super high in magnesium which something like 80% of Americans are deficient in. The numbers on that magnesium deficiency are scary high. I go to a nutritionist who is always going on about how it used to be in our water source naturally and now our water is just a mess. I've been taking this one at night, and I'm super happy with it. This is a pretty interesting read, if you have a minute to devote to your electrolyte health. 

So about that thyme, I really wanted to rant on about thyme, but there's not too much to say, I've just gotten more interested in working with it recently. Thyme and clove, maybe it's the season, maybe I'm finally getting this whole seasonal eating thing. I'm getting ahead of myself, but yes, thyme feels perfect for fall, especially mixed in with pasta and veggies. It's definitely an identifiable flavor, but not really overpowering, plus it's good to mix something distinctive with Brussel sprouts, because you know, they're also distinctive and could easily take over in the flavor department. Oh and garlic pepper, because now-a-days I put it on everything. It's a great idea. It really is. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 box of pasta - I used spirals, the veggie kind, mostly because they match.
  • 1 cup of Brussel sprouts
  • 1 yellow bell pepper - chopped and raw
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil + 1 tablespoon 
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 + 1/2 teaspoons of salt - I pretty much always use Himalayan, I mention it always because different salts have different saltinesses, and I think it's relevant. Also, the mineral content (I'm also newly obsessed with this website, they sell all kinds of cool stuff) of this salt warrants some praise. That's just one girl's opinion. 
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic pepper - I've been using this kind 
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet potato mash - optional
  • 1 tiny spring of rosemary - optional, but it looks super cute

I'm taking a minute with my improved food styling. I've been giving it more thought plus Ali on Gimme Some Oven was kind enough to share what she does in a blog post that was infinitely helpful. I'm not going to pretend to be a fraction of this organized, but I'd like to be. Eh, maybe I like my chaos.

Directions:

  • Prep your Brussel sprouts to do this you can remove the outer leaves like you would on a cabbage, cut off the flat end, and cut an 'x' into the flat side. Cutting the x, helps the heat get to the center faster. There's a video above where I learned how to do it. 
  • You'll need two pots of boiling water, one for the pasta, one for the Brussel sprouts. Cook the pasta per the directions on the box. Boil the Brussel sprouts for four minutes, strain and move them over to a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Pan-fry the Brussel sprouts for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. 
  • Don't forget to stir your pasta.
  • Mix up the olive oil, vinegar, salt, thyme, and garlic pepper for the dressing. 
  • Strain your pasta and rinse with cool water, if you want to serve it cold, I prefer it that way. Put the pasta in a large bowl and toss your Brussel sprouts in, with your chopped bell pepper, and dressing. You can store it in the fridge or serve immediately. The Brussel sprouts are best fresh, but they will keep in the fridge if you're making it ahead of time.