Re­branded brussels sprouts a win­ner

Whangarei Report - - FOOD - 12 large brussels sprouts 150g pancetta, diced 1⁄3 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp chopped fresh gar­lic 1 cup roughly chopped cooked and peeled chest­nuts 450g good-qual­ity dried orec­chi­ette zest and juice of 2 lemons 1 medium bunch fresh Ital­ian pars­ley, chopped pec

AKiwi restau­rant with an English chef, cook­ing de­li­cious Ital­ian recipes. Who would have thought? Open­ing their doors in Wanaka just days be­fore Christ­mas in 2012, Francesca’s Ital­ian Kitchen has been a roar­ing suc­cess, bring­ing the love of good Ital­ian food to the souther re­gion of New Zealand.

Three years af­ter open­ing in Wanaka they found a site in Christchurch and have since opened up in Dunedin.

Now Francesca Voza and James Stapley are shar­ing their food with the rest of New Zealand, through their cook­book Francesca’s Ital­ian Kitchen.

Fol­low­ing the ethos of Ital­ian cook­ing — us­ing what is fresh and de­li­cious in clos­est prox­im­ity to home and cher­ish­ing time over a long meal with friends and fam­ily — Francesca’s Ital­ian Kitchen is full of de­li­cious rus­tic fare.

Fol­low­ing is one of the recipes:

OREC­CHI­ETTE with CAVOLINI

This was a chal­lenge — we were get­ting beau­ti­ful brussels sprouts here in the au­tumn and win­ter, and wanted to use them. We loved the idea of brussels sprouts and chest­nuts with pasta, so this dish was born. No one or­dered it when we called them brussels sprouts, so we em­ployed some artis­tic li­cence and gave them the Ital­ian name for baby cab­bage, cavolini — and now it sells like crazy!

In­gre­di­ents Method

Pre­pare the brussels sprouts by re­mov­ing the outer leaves and set­ting aside for a gar­nish. Shave the brussels sprouts very finely on a man­dolin or as thin as you can man­age with a sharp knife.

In a large pan over a low heat, warm the olive oil for 30 sec­onds, then saute´ the pancetta un­til crispy. Add the shaved brussels sprouts, gar­lic and chest­nuts and very gen­tly cook for about 2 min­utes.

Put a large saucepan of salted wa­ter over a high heat, and bring to the boil. Add the orec­chi­ette to the pan and cook ac­cord­ing to the packet in­struc­tions. Twenty sec­onds be­fore the pasta is ready, add to the pasta wa­ter the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts you set aside ear­lier. Drain the pasta and leaves into a colan­der, re­serv­ing a lit­tle of the pasta wa­ter.

Add the pasta to the pan of brussels sprouts and pancetta and toss to­gether with the le­mon zest and juice and the pars­ley. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per.

Di­vide among warm bowls and grate over some pecorino. Serve im­me­di­ately.

Francesca’s Ital­ian Kitchen, by Francesca Voza and James Stapley (left), Pen­guin Ran­dom­house, $50

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