I have spent every Thanksgiving in America with the same wonderful family and their extended family in Cape Cod. One of my favorite emails of the year has the subject matter “Gobble Gobble” and is sent to find out who is bringing what. This from a family that my father describes as “having built homes that are essentially kitchens with rooms attached”. Suffice to say, every single dish is always amazing and with over 20 people round the table, plates are piled very high even before we’ve attacked the sea of pies waiting in the wings.
A creature of habit, I tend to make the same dishes every year mainly because I know my godson, Henry, is a fan. No Thanksgiving dinner should be without Brussels sprouts and when you add pancetta, chestnuts and Marsala, even the naysayers, like my godmother, will put a spoonful on their plate. So, Gobble Gobble to you all- wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta
(Adapted from Nigella Lawson)
2lbs of Brussels sprouts (bottoms trimmed and sliced in half)
½ lb of pancetta (cubed)
1 onion (quartered and sliced)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 jar of precooked chestnuts
¼ cup of Marsala
Bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread the Brussels sprouts and onion out on a cookie tray and toss well with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a good pinch of salt.
3. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes (turning halfway through) until the sprouts are crunchy and the onions are caramelized and soft.
4. In a large pan, fry the pancetta cubes until brown and crispy in the remaining oil.
5. Add the chestnuts and crush with the back of a wooden spoon.
6. Raise the heat and add the butter. When it starts to sizzle, add the Marsala.
7. Cook for a few minutes until it becomes syrupy, stirring constantly.
8. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and mix well.
9. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.