Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

You know what I love about Thursdays? My house is clean from having bible study here last night which means I can pretty much do whatever I want on Thursday! Woo hoo!! Granted I should unload the dishwasher and move the dirty breakfast and lunch dishes into it, but that doesn't sound fun and updating my blog does.

This, of course, came to me via Pinterest. Actually I had pinned it multiple times which I took to be a sign that I needed to make it. I happened to be at a natural grocery store a few weeks ago, and they happened to have chicken sausage AND fresh brussels sprouts on sale. Another sign, right?! I bought both of them and made this shortly thereafter.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven blog via

1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb orecchiette pasta
4 chicken sausage links
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir around until well combined. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan, slice, and add back into skillet to brown sliced sides. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.


I always, always, always forget to reserve pasta water. Even the times (like this one) when I tell myself constantly while cooking that I need to remember to reserve some of it, I never think of it. Well, I think of it but only once all the water has been poured down the drain. Ugh. I added in some chicken broth to make up for it, but I think the pasta water would have been better.

My family was mixed on this. The kids liked it well enough (brussels sprouts are one of their favorite veggies), the husband and I really liked it. Even the leftovers were good the next few days for lunches. I'd definitely make this again, and it would be fun to play around with different sausage flavors, too. I used a chicken apple sausage, which was tasty, but I bet you'd get good results with an Italian or even a spicy Italian sausage. Yum!

These brussels sprouts were ridiculously big. I think they were the size of Boy #1's fist!

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