Notes: As noted above, I served these Brussels sprouts with the mustard-roasted chicken for a dinner party. The rest of the menu was simple, too: we started with a ball of burrata sprinkled with sea salt served with crackers and peasant bread, and we finished the evening with Balzano apple cake.
Also, I find these to be just as delicious without the pancetta.
Balsamic: You can buy expensive aged balsamic vinegar that’s syrupy or you can simmer balsamic vinegar until it’s reduced to half its volume. Simply simmer 1/2 cup vinegar in a small saucepan until it is thick and syrupy. This will give you 1/4 cup of syrupy balsamic vinegar.
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core — leave the teensy ones whole
- 4 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick, optional
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar or 1/2 cup standard, store-bought balsamic, see notes above
- Preheat oven to 400°F. (If your oven runs cool, set it to 425ºF — I find I get better browning when I roast the Brussels sprouts at 425ºF.)
- Place the Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, including any of the loose leaves. Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch dice and add to the pan. Add the olive oil, the 1 1/2 tsp. salt (or less — start with a teaspoon if you are sensitive to salt) and the 1/2 tsp. pepper and toss with your hands. Spread out the mixture in a single layer.
- Roast the Brussels sprouts until they’re tender and nicely browned and the pancetta is cooked, 20 to 30 minutes, tossing once at the 20-minute mark.
- Meanwhile, if using standard balsamic vinegar, place it in a small saucepan or frying pan and simmer gently until it is reduced by half and looking syrupy — be careful here! Err on the side of under reducing — once the balsamic starts thickening, it can burn quickly. At the first sign of the balsamic getting too thick or dark, transfer it to a small bowl.
- Remove pan from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar and toss again. (I like using the entire quarter cup of reduced balsamic, but add to taste.) Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Italian/American
Keywords: Brussels sprouts, pancetta, balsamic, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa