If you were to ask me my favourite meal, the conversation would last for hours. I would bore you until your ears started to bleed. I am forever changing my mind. I have one million favourites. I eat them, claim I could live off it forever, I would happily never, ever eat anything else again. I would eat this for breakfast, lunch and tea. Until I eat my next meal and exclaim the same thing about the new meal. I would happy eat spaghetti bolognese for breakfast, then eat anything Thai for lunch and then burgers for tea every day. Then I’d really like fish and chips in there too, and fried chicken, maybe an awesome salad? Maybe Arinchini…… Pies are real good too.
However if you ask Dave what his favourite meal is, he will reply without pause, ‘chicken strips and chips with loads of dips’. This is a direct quote, said more than once. First I was crushed. I make an extreme amount of varying meals in a week. The number of different things he has eaten is astronomical. However, no matter when I ask, who asks him, no matter what he has just shovelled in his mouth and declared delicious, the answer remains the same.
Chicken strips, chips and loads of dips.
The first time I looked in Dave’s fridge I was mortified. It held, a tub of ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’, a half bottle of flat diet coke and a whole shelf worth of condiments.
Even with the chicken strip and dip obsession, there were way too many sauces, dips and things in that fridge for just chicken. When quizzed about it, the horrible truth was revealed. The man I was falling for, was spending his time eating frozen sprouts mixed with pesto. As a main meal. Like three times a week.
I knew messing with his beloved breaded chicken was never going to end well, it’s just simply his favourite thing in the world. I could however, mess with the sprouts. Surely, I could only improve upon the plain bowl of soggy sprouts?
This meal is simple, easy, and quick to make. Hardly more work than mixing frozen sludge with jarred pesto.
It feels like a decadent meal, even though it’s just, bacon, pasta, sprouts and shallots. The addition of butter, make it so comforting. Also since it’s as much a sprouts as it is pasta, you can call it health food. I do.
It turns out sprouts as a main meal is a winner, it’s my new favourite. Obviously.
- 500g pasta
- 500g sprouts
- 5 rashes bacon
- 4 shallots - sliced
- 3 tablespoons garlic oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 70g parmesan - grated
- Bring a large pan water to the boil.
- Meanwhile, chop the bacon up small and fry in two tablespoons garlic oil until crisp and all the fat rendered down.
- Remove from the pan, leaving the oil behind. Add the extra tablespoon oil, melt the butter and add in the shallot, once softened add the bacon back in..
- Using a food processor with the shredder attachment, shred the sprouts, you could do this by hand too, but it far easier the lazy way.
- Add into the garlicky shallot mix.
- Add your pasta into the water and cook following box instructions.
- Stir your sprout mixture and add 60ml water (1/4 cup). If you have stock or wine to hand use this instead, (dilute your white wine half with water).
- Allow to cook, down for 8 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, add it to the sprouts and cook together for 2 minutes, adding in your parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.
- Check to see if it needs salt and serve with a hefty grating of parmesan.
- You could serve this as a side dish next to crispy chicken.