Cheesy Shells with Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Why I Love This Recipe
I love brussel sprouts. I love them especially when they are roasted. It was only natural to fold the tender, roasty sprouts into a creamy, delectable cheesy pasta and bake it to perfection. Did I say perfection? That's what every bite was!
Ingredients You'll Need
4 ½ C Shell Pasta
340g Microwavable bag Baby Brussel Sprouts (about 24) – Larger sprouts halved lengthwise
Sea Salt, Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. AP Flour
1 ½ Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
½ Tsp. ground White Pepper
1 Cup shredded Old White Cheddar
1 Cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack
1/3 Cup seasoned Italian style Breadcrumbs
1 heaping Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
Preheat oven to 425 F
Spread the Brussel sprouts out on a baking sheet. Drizzle them generously with EVOO and season with sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 – 15 minutes until slightly charred and tender.
Reduce oven to 375 F
*Begin the following steps after the sprouts have been flipped
Bring a large pot filled with cold water to a boil on high heat. Season liberally with sea salt and add the shells. Cook to al dente, strain and set aside.
CHEESE SAUCE: Bring a small pot to temperature on just below medium and start melting the butter. Once melted, add the flour and red better flakes and stir vigorously to combine them. Once the roux bubbles away for about 30 seconds, reduce the heat to medium low and stir often for 5 minutes.
Whisk in the cream and milk slowly to avoid lumps and once combined increase the heat back to medium. Once the sauce starts to bubble, stir in the salt, white pepper, and cheese working in batches while stirring the cheese in. Bubble away 2 minutes and reduce heat to medium low for about 6 – 8 minutes stirring occasionally.
Transfer the roasted Brussel sprouts & the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce adding half at a time. Once thoroughly combined, transfer the cheesy shells to a 2 ½ qt. baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
TOPPING: In a small frying pan, melt the butter on medium and add the breadcrumbs and a pinch of sea salt. Cook about 2 or 3 minutes until toasted. Constantly check on them to make sure they don’t burn.
Sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the cheesy shells and bake uncovered 20 – 25 minutes until nice and crispy on top.