We got home late Sunday evening, unpacked the car, put up a pot of tea, and got ourselves situated on the couch. Maki promptly passed out. We read a little, before heading to bed. I knew that last week wasn't going to be relaxing. We had a lot on our plates. There was the drive down, the multiple days of cooking, which was then followed by a family brunch, a trip to New York to see Hedwig (our second time this year), and a wedding shoot in Brooklyn. It's not that we didn't have fun. We did. But it was the kind of trip where we came back and just crashed.
I avoided work as much as possible on Monday. I took long walks with Maki, watched a movie, and I even got myself on the elliptical for a few minutes (having not used it in over a month, it wasn't the best experience). There was a little time spent in the kitchen, too. For a while now, I've been meaning to create a Brussels sprout recipe. My family is well aware of my love of these guys. The web is inundated with Brussels sprout recipes, though (do a search for "roasted Brussels sprouts" and you'll see what I'm talking about). The goal was to come up with something a little different and yet keep the dish familiar. As I started thinking of what to do with them, I figured throwing pasta into the mix couldn't hurt. But how to bring it all together? A creamy grapefruit sauce, rich and slightly tangy. A touch of thyme. A sprinkle of cheese and a hearty dose of freshly ground pepper. And... done.
Fettuccine with Grapefruit Sauce, Brussels Sprouts + Manchego
For the grapefruit sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only
1/2 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sprouts halved or quartered (depending on size)
1 lb fettuccine
1/4 cup grated manchego cheese
1. To cook the Brussels sprouts, set a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and let it heat up in the pan. After a minute, add the Brussels sprouts and season with a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Let the Brussels sprouts cook for a few minutes and then give them a quick stir. Once they have browned, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
2. In the same saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes translucent. Stir in the thyme and cook for another minute or two. Pour in the grapefruit juice and dry vermouth. Cook for two minutes and then stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add the Brussels sprouts back to the pan.
3. Cook the fettuccine according to the directions on the packaging (if using fresh pasta, boil for 2-3 minutes in salted water). Toss cooked pasta with the sauce and Brussels sprouts. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle manchego cheese on top before eating.