Fried Brussels Sprouts, Zucca and Angel Hair

 Is it just me?  Am I the only one who has noticed Michael Symon's Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers?  Deep fried.  And, the fact that he says to "remove the contents of the pot with a skimmer and place directly into the bowl of dressing.  Toss to coat."  Dressing which contains another 1/2 cup of olive oil.  Foolishly, I followed directions.  Sort of.  I did hold the skimmer over some paper towels for a second or two.  Still I want to tell you, that was some oily sprouts.  The flavors were extremely tasty, but it was hard to get past all the liquid fat.  Of course, my grandson's reaction was "Oh fried food!"  A fairly uncommon occurrence around here.  Aside from a few foodie events lately.

I served it as a side with Shepherd's Pie on St. Paddy's.  And almost threw out the remnants afterwords.  There weren't a lot, but being a frugal sort, I tossed them instead with a pile of pumpkin and pasta, which turned out to be a fabulous move.

So you may want to cook enough for a side dish, plus extra to make this wonderful concoction on angel hair the following day.  Be sure to drain the Brussels sprouts properly on paper towels after frying though.  Pasta can take some oil in its stride, but it can be added later.  I love angel hair in this, as it allows all the brilliant flavors to shine through.  The sweet, tender Kabocha or butternut squash is a fabulous contrast in flavor, color and texture, and when cut into 1/2 inch chunks, can be cooked with the pasta in the same amount of time.  It then absorbs the Dressing flavors when stirred together.  Easy peasy.

Zucca and Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers on Angel Hair
Adapted from Michael Symon's recipe in Live to Cook
Serves 3-4
canola oil, for deep frying
1 clove garlic, minced
4 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
1 serrano  chili pepper or of the strength you prefer, seeded and minced
1/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used Balsamic)
1 tablespoon honey
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias (I didn't have so used a shallot)

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil - if this is to be tossed with pasta
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint, stems removed or flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoons capers, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. zucca - butternut, or kabocha squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 oz. Capellini or angel hair pasta
2 - 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted, fresh breadcrumbs

Pour enough oil into a medium pot so it comes 3 inches up the sides.  Heat to 350F. 

While it is heating, prepare the sprouts, and whisk together the dressing ingredients (up to and including the walnuts), in a bowl large enough to toss the Brussels sprouts after frying and draining.   Keep it near the stove.

Work in small batches and deep-fry the sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 minutes.  Drain each batch on paper towels.  Then add them to the bowl of dressing and toss.  Fry the mint and capers last for about 1/2 to1 minute, when the mint becomes a brighter, deeper green.  Drain and toss with the dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Now, prepare the squash while your pasta water is coming to a boil.  Add the angel hair and zucca to the water and cook about 6 minutes.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Drain zucca/pasta, reserving a cup or so of the water, and toss together in the olive oil.  Add the Brussels sprouts on medium heat, with extra pasta water if needed, and taste for salt and pepper. Top with the toasted breadcrumbs and serve.  A very tasty, satisfying meal.  We loved how the flavors and textures all worked together in this dish.  As well as the proportion of vegetables to noodles.

This will be my contribution to Presto Pasta Nights, the ongoing foodie event and recipe exchange, hosted this week by Claire of Chez Cayenne.  I am also linking to My Meatless Mondays, at Chaya's site.  Pay a visit.  Stay awhile.


Swathi said...

Sure this caramelized Brussels sprouts has given little sweetness and crunch to pasta.I love them.

Claire said...

What a neat way to use Brussels sprouts. Thanks for sending this over to Presto Pasta Nights.

Joanne said...

I thought all that oil was ridiculous as well, which is why when I made this I just roasted the brussels. Your version looks fantastic also! Love that you added em to pasta!

The Food Hunter said...

great way too get some brussel sprouts into your diet.

Ruth Daniels said...

That does sound like a lot of fat, but my thinking is by the time it got to the pasta, it was less so. Great use of "leftovers" Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.