A Delicious Holiday Side Dish: Laura Pensiero's Roasted Maple Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Chestnuts

The chef and entrepreneur elevates brussels sprouts with the addition of pancetta and chestnuts. Make this recipe for your holiday table.

brussels

Ingredients

4 ounces pancetta, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups fresh roasted chestnuts, approximately ¾ pound in shell (substitute peeled, frozen chestnuts if desired)

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved (quartered, if large)

Salt and pepper

¼ cup warm water

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch cayenne pepper

Related: Sandra Lee's Mini Chicken Potpies

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Roasting removes the shell and richens the flavor of chestnuts. Using the tip of a knife, cut a small X in the flat side of their outer shell, then spread them out on a baking pan. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes; you will see the skin curling away and the chestnut taking on a golden color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. The shells can easily be removed. Set aside the chestnuts.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large (approximately three- to four-quart) sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until it renders its fat and is lightly browned. Add the chestnuts, toss or stir to combine, then cook for about one minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing or stirring, for about two minutes.

Plus: Miles Angelo's Brined Turkey, Herb-and-Mustard-Stuffed Legs, Gold Corn Brioche Dressing and Giblet Gravy

4. Transfer vegetables to a rimmed baking pan or roasting pan; they should spread out into one slightly overlapping layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven, stirring once halfway through until the vegetables are golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Use the tip of a sharp paring knife to test the doneness at the base of a Brussels sprout; it should insert easily.

5. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the water, maple syrup, and cayenne. Pour the mixture into the hot baking pan, using a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned bits. Return pan to oven and cook another five minutes. Serve hot or warm, family-style, in a festive bowl.


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