Carbonara with Brussels Sprouts

carbonara with brussels sproutsIngredients:

3 oz pancetta, chopped
2 T olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
4-8 large garlic cloves, minced
10 oz Brussels sprouts, shaved
1 lb thin spaghetti
2 ladles salted pasta water (reserve a third ladle of water for use as needed)
1 cup parmigiana reggiano, grated
4 eggs, beaten
1 t oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper, or to taste

Garnish: grated Parmesan

Spoon Mage™ Note:

For the garlic, it all depends upon how much you love it. I put in about two tablespoons. You may want just one tablespoon. Your dinner should be made to suit you.

Many stores sell those lovely pre-shaved Brussels sprouts. As long as the package is fresh, it is just fine to use those. If you prefer, go ahead and slice your sprouts. First slice off the root end, then use a very sharp knife and slice as thinly as you can – do not cut yourself, ok?


Combine parmigiana reggiano, eggs, oregano and about 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well and put back in the fridge. Prep the rest of the ingredients.

In a large deep skillet set over medium-high heat, sauté the pancetta in the olive oil for four minutes. The pancetta should not brown crisp, just start to get that way.

Add the onions and sauté for four more minutes, or just until the onions soften but do not brown.

Add the garlic and sauté, stirring slowly but constantly for two minutes, or until the aroma changes from raw garlic to cooked. Do not let the garlic brown.

Add the shaved sprouts, reduce heat to medium and saute with the pancetta and onions for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring every now and then.

Meanwhile, bring salted water for the spaghetti to a boil and cook per package directions. Do your best to time this so that the water comes to a boil when you are nearly done sauteing the sprouts.

If your sprouts get done too soon, don’t fuss it. Just remove the pan from the heat until the next step.


About halfway through pasta cooking time, scoop two ladles of pasta water into the skillet with the sprouts, cover. Return the pan to medium heat if necessary. The sprouts will steam to a nice tender finish while the pasta cooks.

When the pasta is done to al dente, drain it, and return the noodles to the pot.

Pour in the sprout mixture and toss to combine.

Quickly pour in the egg mixture, tossing and stirring quickly. A little speed here helps turn the eggs into a luscious sauce. If the eggs sit too long between stirs, you may end up with scrambled eggs. Tasty, but not as pretty.

Should the mixture look a little dry, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water, but you should be just fine unless you used too much cheese in the egg mixture. You want each strand generously coated with sauce, but not drowning in a saucy bath.

Serve with a lovely green salad and perhaps a nice cold Frascati.

brussels-sprouts-pancettacarbonara with brussels sprouts

2 thoughts on “Carbonara with Brussels Sprouts

    • TheSpoonMage

      thank you! This has become a family favorite. Because I can’t make this without a lot of “test tasting” as the sprouts simmer, I even serve the sprouts without pasta as as side dish. I think I only made minor tweaks to that and should probably put that up for folks. I dare a non-sprout eater to dislike it!


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