So there’s a great place right in our neighborhood called Bocca Lupo, with nice tapas options, a great whiskey selection, and a DJ on the weekends. We’ve been there a few times by ourselves or with friends and really enjoyed everything, except for one pasta dish that sounded great, but was almost unbelievably bad: a special pasta with brussels and guanciale in a cream sauce. The sauce was described as light (it was heavy), the pasta was gummy, the guanciale was overly chewy, and the brussels were nonexistent. Really one of the worst dishes I’ve ever been served. However, the idea stuck with us and on Sunday, searching in vain for a supermarket or butcher’s shop to be open, we were left without any ideas for dinner. Rachel suggested just going home, seeing what we could put together with what we had, naming the brussels, pasta, and soppressata as some things we had on hand. Smart girl.
1/2 lb rigatone (can sub other dried pasta)
Large handful Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and sliced into rounds
3 or 4 slices sweet soppressata, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 or 3 small sundried tomatoes, diced
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 c heavy cream
Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, Pepper
Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. While pasta is cooking, sweat the shallot in olive oil in a pan over medium heat until softened and starting to brown. Add brussels sprouts, soppressata, and tomatoes, cooking for a minute or two. Add cream, some red pepper flakes, and let reduce for a minute to get the sauce all flavory. Strain the pasta, adding it and a few tablespoons of the cooking water to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, add lemon juice and a grating of parmesan cheese and toss together. Plate and serve, topped with more cheese and black pepper.