This post is sponsored content. All opinions are my own.
Words that couldn’t be more true: Everybody Loves Bacon. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust people who don’t like bacon or chocolate. HOW? How could that be possible??
BI-LO asked some bloggers to come up with bacon-y recipes to celebrate their “Everybody Loves Bacon” event, and I was glad to participate! I started with my basic Feta Pasta with Bacon and Peas recipe and decided to make it a little more grown-up. In lieu of just mixing the feta and pasta, I made alfredo sauce with feta instead of Parmesan. And rather than throwing in some frozen peas, I sauteed Brussels sprouts in the bacon fat, letting them soak in some goodness and get nice and brown in a cast-iron skillet.
This dish is full of strong flavors, and I adored it. If your family doesn’t like Brussels, you can substitute broccoli, peas, kale, or fresh green beans (or just omit the vegetable altogether and serve alongside a big salad).
Pasta with Feta Alfredo Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, and Bacon
Yield: 4-6 servings
Unlike many of my other recipes, this recipe is a little time- and labor-intensive. It took me a solid hour in the kitchen without distraction and constantly stirring and sauteeing! But it's a wonderful weekend or special occasion meal when you have the time.
12 oz. pasta, cooked and drained (I used penne)
12 oz. bacon
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed and halved*
1/2 c. butter
1 c. heavy cream or half-and-half
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper
*To prep Brussels sprouts, rinse them and pat dry with a towel. Trim off some of the bottom and remove the tougher outer leaves. Then halve the sprouts, or quarter if they are larger ones.
Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces with kitchen shears. In a large skillet (if you have one that is not nonstick, that is best), cook bacon pieces until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a towel.
Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. (Reserve the rest, of course. Because BACON.)
Over medium heat, add Brussels sprouts to the bacon grease. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are fork-tender but not mushy. They should get some yummy brown caramelization on them. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add heavy cream and garlic. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. After that, remove from heat and add cheese and a little black pepper. Stir well until uniform. (All of the feta won't melt, but some will.)
(Also a note here - I used half-and-half because I couldn't find any heavy cream without carrageenan, which I try to avoid. It worked fine, but heavy cream would make for a thicker sauce to coat your pasta.)
Toss pasta with sauce, Brussels sprouts, and cooked bacon pieces in a large bowl. Serve hot. This pasta is best if served right away; leftovers will mostly taste like Brussels sprouts.