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Orecchiette with Brussels sprouts recipe by Sam Lomas

Orecchiette with Brussels sprouts, sausages, olives and rosemary
Orecchiette with Brussels sprouts, sausages, olives and rosemary

As a child I vividly remember coming home one day in the winter to find a human spine waiting for me on the doorstep; it’s the sort of thing you don’t forget in a hurry.

Or at least that is what I thought for a few seconds in the low light of a winter evening before it became apparent that the spine was a big stick of Brussels sprouts.

This traumatic memory does not however put me off eating this delicious wintery vegetable.

Whilst synonymous with being vigorously boiled until all flavour and texture is lost, sprouts are an unbelievably versatile vegetable to cook.

Stir frying with garlic and chilli, roasting with bacon or even deep frying with a punchy aioli are all ways in which I have enjoyed cooking them over the last few years.

January is quite possibly the best month to enjoy sprouts as I find their natural sweetness intensifies after a few hard frosts. It is also worth trying to pick out the smallest sprouts you can get your hands on as the larger ones tend to become waterlogged and soggy.

In this recipe, the sprouts form the basis of a very satisfying wintery pasta dish, pairing wonderfully with good quality pork sausages, cream and rosemary.

Orecchiette with Brussels sprouts, sausages, olives and rosemary

Serves 2


180g orecchiette

3 good quality pork sausages

250g Brussels sprouts

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 sprig of rosemary, chopped

40g green olives, sliced

1 small glass of white wine

150ml single cream

Parmesan (optional)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Place a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and fry the sausages in a little olive oil until golden and juicy. Set to one side to cool.

Place a saucepan of salted water on to boil.

In the pan used to cook the sausages add an extra drizzle of oil, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened and golden. Add the white wine and reduce down to a syrup with the chopped rosemary.

Slice the cooked sausages into discs and add to the pan with the onion. Add the olives XXX and single cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the orecchiette to the boiling salted water. After 5 minutes add the quartered sprouts to the pan and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until the pasta and the sprouts are both nicely cooked.

Drain the pasta and sprouts and combine with the sausage mixture adding a little of the pasta water if the mixture needs loosening.

Serve with a sharp green salad and parmesan if required.


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