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Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Marsala, Chestnuts and Parsley

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Ingredients

  • 10 cup brussels sprouts
  • 8 ounce pancetta, rind removed, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (to give 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup vacuum packed chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 tablespoon marsala
  • 1 tablespoon large bunch parsley, finely chopped to give about 1 cup
  • Preparation

    Baking Directions:

    Trim the bottoms off each of the brussel sprouts, cutting a cross into them as you go.

    Then tip them into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook until tender but still retaining a bit of bite, about 5 minutes or so depending on size.

    Spoon one out of the water to test (without burning your tongue and thus ruining the whole lunch for yourself) whether they are cooked to be sure.

    Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to take everything later (or just drain the sprouts and use their pan, once you’ve drained them), cook the pancetta cubes in the oil, with the rind for more salty fat rendering, until they’re bronzed and crisp, but not cooked to the point of having dried out.

    Add the butter and the chestnuts and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, press on the chestnuts to break them up a bit.

    When they’re warmed through, turn the heat up and throw in the Marsala, letting it bubble away, fusing with the pancetta fat and chestnutty butter to form a glorious savoury syrup.

    As the drained sprouts and turn well, sprinkling in half of the parsley as you do so.

    Give a good grinding of pepper; you shouldn’t need salt, given the pancetta, but obviously taste to see.

    Decant to a warmed serving plate and sprinkle over the remaining chopped parsley.