Spaghetti With Brussels Sprouts And Pancetta Cream

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With all the diet-centric cookbooks out these days, can't we all just have a little fat and carbs and leave it all behind? Yes, we can! Grab a copy of food writer and blogger Andie Mitchell's Eating in the Middle and redefine what a balanced diet means. Besides, it's not a really good recipe if you're still hungry afterward, right? 

This quick spaghetti dish reminds me of spaghetti carbonara — noodles coated in a creamy sauce studded with salty pancetta pieces. But carbonara isn't exactly a healthy dish — and the challenge with all pasta dishes is keeping them light and the portion sizes reasonable. So for this recipe, I cut down the amount of pasta and bulked up the dish with roasted Brussels sprouts. The simple pancetta cream sauce is made with full-fat, full-flavor ingredients, so I kept the amount low — just enough for a really delicious meal.

Reprinted with permission from Eating in the Middle

Spaghetti With Brussels Sprouts And Pancetta Cream
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  • About 4 cups brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pancetta
  • 1 cup dry whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts and olive oil. Spread in a single layer, cut sides down, and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Roast until browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta until browned and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Return the skillet to the stovetop.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  5. To the drippings in the pancetta skillet, add the leeks, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low, add the half-and-half and chicken broth, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spaghetti, pancetta, and Brussels sprouts, and toss to coat in the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Divide the pasta among 4 plates and serve immediately.
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