Who can resist a creamy pasta? But this one’s got even more going for it than normal. It’s great for using up tasty Christmas leftovers (or any meaty leftovers, really …). And as it’s got a carbonara-like sauce with just a drizzle of cream, it isn’t even all that bad for you.
When it comes to veggies, brussels sprouts have never really been the coolest kids on the block.
But they have had a tiny bit of an image boost recently as people have discovered that you can do more with them than just boil them to a mush! You can pan-fry them, roast them, mix yummy things like chestnuts and bacon through them, crumble them raw through a salad and even, as I read recently, deep fry them (now that I’d like to try).
This creamy turkey, bacon and brussels sprouts linguine might not be the sexiest looking bowl of pasta you’ll ever eat, but I promise you it’s pretty tasty. For a start, I ROASTED the brussels, which means they get all crispy and sweet and caramelized – delicious. Bacon adds another good hit of flavour, then there’s crowd-pleasing roast turkey, a bit of garlic and thyme, and a carbonara-style sauce made of egg yolks, slightly tangy crème fraiche (or cream if you can’t find that), lovely fresh lemon zest and a nice big handful of parmesan.
Maybe the best thing about this is that you can use any Christmas leftovers you happen to have. Use ham instead of bacon if that’s what you’ve got. Throw in however much turkey (or chicken – why not?) you have left, even if it’s just a bit. I also think leftover chopped-up pigs in blankets (little sausages with bacon wrapped around them – it’s a UK Christmas dinner thing!) would be great. That way, you could skip the bacon and make the whole thing even easier.
The only thing I wouldn’t substitute would be the brussels. And make sure you do roast them – honestly, they’re delicious!
What do you usually make with your Christmas leftovers – if you have any? To be honest, I don’t expect to have any (too greedy), but I reckon it’s worth buying the ingredients especially to make this lovely creamy linguine.
Oh, and just because it’s got ‘creamy’ in its name, doesn’t mean it’s all that bad for you. There’s just a drizzle of crème fraiche or cream in the sauce, plus a couple of eggs and a bit of cheese. Well, OK then, it isn’t that amazingly healthy, but we aren’t going to worry about that right now.
Let’s save thinking about healthy recipes until the New Year …
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! THANKS SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING ALONG THIS YEAR, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO ‘SEEING’ YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR! XXX
- about 450 grams/16 ounces brussels sprouts, washed, outer leaves peeled, and halved
- salt and pepper
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons crème fraiche (or cream)
- zest of 1 lemon
- a handful of parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 rashers bacon (or leftover ham), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or about 3 sprigs fresh)
- leftover cooked turkey or chicken (I used about 200 grams/7 ounces cooked chicken)
- 130 grams/4.5 ounces linguine pasta, or similar
- Pre-heat the oven to 390F/200C.
- Toss the brussels with a little oil on a baking tray or roasting dish, then grind over a bit of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned and crispy.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, crème fraiche (or cream), lemon zest and parmesan together, and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a little oil for seven or eight minutes or until lightly crispy, then add the garlic and thyme to the pan and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the turkey/chicken to the pan and toss everything together until the chicken/turkey is heated through.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, then quickly return it to the pan (keep it off the heat).
- Immediately add the turkey/chicken, brussels and bacon mixture to the pasta, followed by the egg/cream/parmesan mixture. Quickly toss the pasta around with tongs, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to leave you with a creamy, silky sauce. Serve immediately.