As a rebellious teenager, I did a stint as a vegetarian. This was quite the scandal in my Northern Irish meat-and-potatoes family. While I scarfed down what my dad called “rabbit food,” I couldn’t help but miss the substantial chew of a steak or the hearty stick-to-your-ribs quality of a properly meaty pasta sauce. However, in my many recipe tests, I created a pasta dish that nearly soothed my craving for meat. To achieve a sensation similar to the wonderful crustiness of a perfectly seared steak, I roast chunks of Brussels sprouts and sweet potato until they are browned and slightly crunchy. For the sauce I infuse brown butter with garlic and thyme. The thyme has such a nice woody flavor to it – it makes any sauce heartier. Toss the veggies and sauce with some whole wheat pasta and even the most dedicated carnivore is satisfied!! You can even add a little goat cheese for extra creaminess! I always do!
Fall Vegetable Pasta with Garlic and Thyme Brown Butter
1/2 cup of sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on their size
1 tablespoon of olive oil
8 ounces of whole-wheat noodles (I used fettuccine)
3 tablespoons of butter
3 sprigs of thyme
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
In a medium sized skillet, melt the butter and add the thyme sprigs and whole peeled garlic clove. Cook the sauce while moving the garlic and thyme with a spoon. The sauce is ready when the butter is lightly browned and the garlic smells fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and thyme. You can reserve the thyme for a garnish.