I don’t know about you, but I find myself searching the Internet every summer for new side dishes to take to barbecues.
Joey is really, really not a mayonnaise fan, so the traditional offerings like potato salad and coleslaw are mostly out of the question.
But then you also have the problem of how to keep a cold side dish cold while you’re hanging out in 90-degree Kansas weather. Instead, I prefer a dish that can be warm (or at least room temperature) and still be delicious.
This week’s recipe definitely ticks that box.
You can find it on the blog “Recipe Runner” at https://reciperunner.com/brussels-sprouts-and-bacon-pesto-pasta/. I added extra garlic and red pepper flakes in my version.
Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Pesto Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta shells
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- Juice of one lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded (plus more for topping)
- Boil your pasta according to package directions.
- While it’s cooking, wash and trim your Brussels sprouts and slice them thinly. Set them aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it’s crispy, and then remove it from the pan to a paper towel to drain.
- Remove all but about one tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet, and add in the sliced Brussels sprouts, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are as tender as you like them.
- Stir in the garlic and saute for about one more minute or until it is lightly browned and fragrant.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients (drained pasta, too), and stir to combine. Add more seasoning if necessary, and serve warm with some extra cheese on top.
We ate this hot the first time, and it was amazing. We ate it cold as leftovers, and while it was still good straight out of the fridge, we both agreed we liked it better at least warm.
The flavors married well and were bright and perfect for a summer side dish.
The next time we’re hosting (or invited to) an outdoor summer meal, this will be on my short list of dishes to take. It’s tasty, easy to make, and there are no ice packs or other contraptions needed to keep this dish cold throughout a get-together.
With the heat outside rising, if I can at least find some relaxation through not worrying about my cooking, I’ll be very happy.
This piece first appeared in print on June 22, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.