Photo Credit: Food Network
This is one of my favorite pasta salads for fall, and I especially love the combination of brussels sprouts and bacon. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together, and pomegranate seeds give it some beautiful color and a pop of freshness! I really like to let it marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours so that all the flavors can come together – which makes it a great make-ahead dish too.
Bacon and Brussels Sprout Orecchiette
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for seasoning pasta water
- 1 pound orecchiette
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts separated into leaves
- 1 pound apple wood smoked bacon chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- This recipe first appeared on Giada’s Holiday Handbook. Episode: Giada’s Fall Festival.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and add the pasta. Cook until just under al dente, about 9 minutes. Remove the pasta to a rimmed baking sheet using a spider, allowing it to continue cooking and cool slightly. Return the water to a boil and stir in the Brussels sprout leaves. Simmer for 30 seconds.
- Remove the leaves to the same tray using a spider. Cool slightly.
- Add the bacon to a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the bacon is brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the Parmesan, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and 3/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Add the slightly cooled pasta, Brussels sprouts and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the crispy bacon to the bowl with a slotted spoon and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and toss gently if desired. Allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving.
- Cook’s Note: You can also blanch and shock the Brussels sprout leaves. To do so, prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Prepare the pot of water as above. Cook the leaves until bright green and just tender, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove the leaves to the ice bath, using a spider, to shock, until chilled. Drain well and blot dry with a towel. Set aside.