show us your brussels, with orecchiette, pancetta, ricotta, lemon & chilli

Lordy, Lordy it’s been a while! Are you still out there!?? My life has been so crazily busy lately, I am relieved to finally have a new recipe for you. It is inspired by one of my favourite dishes at Andiamo restaurant and has a delicious combination of vibrant brussels sprouts, salty pancetta, creamy ricotta, zingy lemon with a little kick of chilli heat. I used orecchiette but you could use spaghetti or bow tie pasta – anything flattish would work (probs wouldn’t use anything tube-y like penne which is better for a saucy dish). It is ready in 20 minutes, and would make a great mid-week dinner – the recipe serves 2 but could easily be doubled, in which case I would flash roast the sprouts in the oven with the pancetta and other ingredients as you might not get them all in a frying pan. However you cook it, it is bloody delicious!

Any waaaaay what else is news? I have been in my new house for about 6 weeks now and it feels like home…actually it did from the first moment I walked in, but that feeling has only amplified. Already it has been the hub of many a hilarious, music, fun, and food-filled evening with old friends and new. Both the man/boys have stayed, although Pog is now back at work in Welly and Hoob is enjoying a yoga-filled holiday in Bali with the beautiful Raven. Work at Dish magazine has been a revelation – I had no idea how much I missed full-time work – after so many years freelance, the nature of the work has me on fire with enthusiasm…I absolutely love it. The winter issue is just about to go to print, so I will be crossing my fingers (and toes, legs, eyes etc) that it goes well at retail! I haven’t forgotten about the next book either, believe it or not it is about 60% completed, so very soon it will become my ‘weekend job’!

And outside work and catching up with friends and family I have been running and walking and trying to keep up my exercise in the wake of so much change…speaking of which, time to haul arse out of bed and get to the gym, but I’ll see you here again soon.

serves 2

400 grams brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
100grams pancetta, chopped
300grams orecchiette
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta
1-2 teaspoons lemon infused olive oil
2 tablespoons small chopped mint leaves (reserve a few to garnish)

Put the brussels sprouts in a sink of water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and trim the ends then cut the smallest ones in half, and slice bigger ones into three. Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the pancetta for about 3 minutes until starting to crisp a little. Add the brussels sprouts and stir to coat in the pancetta and oil. Add the chilli and lemon zest. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the orecchiette according to the packet instructions. Cook the sprouts for 15 minutes until just tender and bright green. Drain the pasta and add to the brussels sprouts with the Parmesan and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with lemon oil. Divide between serving bowls and drop in spoonsful of ricotta. Garnish with remaining mint leaves and serve immediately.


  1. Sarah I just love reading your blog, makes me feel like I’m catching up with an old friend. No nonsense over-thinking.. just pure brain to page, love it! Cant wait for more new recipes.
    Will certainly give this a crack, I usually make roast brussels sprout pasta with spaghettini, lemon, olive oil, garlic, white wine, splash of pasta water, and chilli flakes, topped with toasted panko spiked with lemon zest and a bunch of salt at the end! My go-to easy meal.

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