Sun Basket Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2


  • 5 ounces orecchiette
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • ¾ pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan


1. For the Pasta:

  • Cook the orecchiette
  • Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook until just tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
  • While the orecchiette cooks, prepare and cook the vegetables.

2. Prep the vegetables

  • Peel and thinly slice the yellow onion.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Trim the root ends from the Brussels sprouts; cut the sprouts in half.

3. Cook the onion

  • In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon butter or 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking.
  • Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until soft and browned, 8 to 10 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to prevent scorching.
  • Pour in ¼ cup wine or water and cook at a vigorous simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid has reduced by about half, 1 to 3 minutes.

4. Cook the Brussels sprouts

  • To the pan with the onion, stir in the garlic and as much Aleppo chile as you like and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts and ½ cup pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
    While the Brussels sprouts simmer, prepare the lemon.

5. Prep the lemon; finish the pasta

  • Zest the lemon and cut into wedges; set aside the wedges for garnish.To the pan with the sprouts, stir in the orecchiette and heat until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in more pasta cooking water, if dry.Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, walnuts, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the pasta to individual bowls. Garnish with the lemon wedges and serve.
  • Chef’s Tip :To get dinner on the table even faster, in Step 2, start cooking the onion while you finish prepping the garlic and Brussels sprouts.
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