Friday, January 10, 2014

Orecchiete with Brussel Sprouts, Anchovies, Preserved Lemons & Hazelnuts

It may be counter-intuitive but winter is the season for citrus fruits. Of course, they all come from warmer climes than New York.

The CC is always reminded to update his batch of preserved lemons because of all the great Meyer lemons that are to be found in the markets.

So it's also time to use up some of them with this truly great recipe. You get umami from three separate sources — the anchovies, preserved lemons and the parmigiano-reggiano.

Also, the lemons are just mellow enough so they don't have that aggressive lemony flavor and yet they still have the all the fragrant citrus notes. This makes the dish easy to pair with wine which is difficult in the presence of aggressively sour flavors.

Lemon, black pepper and rosemary are a magical combination. Lemon and parmigiano-reggiano is also a magical combination.

The citrusy, resinous and umami notes pair perfectly while the hazelnuts act as the crunchy textural counterpoint to the dish.


18 brussel sprouts (halved)

1 onion (sliced into thin rounds)
1 whole preserved lemon (pith removed, cut into thin strips)
2 anchovies
1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

olive oil
black pepper

2 cups orecchiete


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Roast the hazelnuts for about 12 minutes. They have a tendency to burn so make sure you don't overdo it. Remove from the oven. Process in a food processor until they are broken and uneven but not crushed to a powder.

Toss the halved brussel sprouts into the oven. Roast for about 18-24 minutes until they are just slightly brown but not charred.

After this, you need to time these two steps together:

Cook the pasta until al dente. Roughly 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up some olive oil. Toss in the onions and let them fry for about 6 minutes until languid. Add the anchovies and fry for a bit. Add the brussel sprouts, rosemary, salt and pepper and toss together. Add some pasta water to make a thin sauce.

When the pasta is done, toss everything including the preserved lemons together.

Top with the hazelnuts, parmigiano-reggiano, and more black pepper.

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