How to cook: The perfect brussels sprout carbonara

VIVA Team | 3rd December 2014

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are a central part of Christmas dinner. In fact, they have attained a certain level of celebrity over the past few years and now sprout enthusiasts can celebrate their love of their favourite leafy vegetables with socks, t-shirts, cards and more.


While a not-so-sprouty chocolate Brussels sprout might be the perfect Christmas gift for haters, we think that you just might be able to convert them with this delicious recipe, which brings a Mediterranean twist to the humble Brussels sprout. The tang of parmesan, salty crunch of crispy bacon and warming, creamy pasta makes it simply irresistible.

Brussels Sprout Carbonara



550g Brussels sprouts – outer leaves removed, end chopped off, and sliced thinly

400g Fresh pasta (we think Tagliatelle works the best)

150g smoked streaky bacon finely diced

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

3 eggs, beaten

75 g parmesan, grated on the smallest setting

2 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground salt and pepper.



  • Heat your oil in a deep frying pan and add the bacon pieces garlic. Fry until the fat on the bacon renders down and it starts to brown.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan of oil and garlic and stir fry your sprouts until the just start to soften (you don’t want them too soft, which is why it’s a good idea to cook your sprouts and bacon separately so you get crispy bacon and al dente sprouts).
  • Once the sprouts are done, add them to the bacon, give them a good stir, and set aside somewhere where it will stay hot.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to a rolling boil, add a drizzle of olive oil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the pack.
  • Warm a mixing bowl and add the eggs, finely grated parmesan and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper, giving it a good mix with a fork.
  • As soon as your pasta is cooked, quickly drain it and add the egg and cheese mixture and the bacon and sprout mix. The heat and the fat from the bacon will cook the egg, turning it into an irresistible, creamy texture.


And hey presto! You have a deliciously festive twist on a Mediterranean classic.


Aside from the addition of the sprout, this recipe is cooked to traditional Italian standards. No cream, no mushroom; they are Anglicised Frankensteins and should not be tolerated on any level. If you are a purist, you could remove the sprouts, but then you would be removing half of the fun.


Enjoy with garlic bread, salad and a delicious glass of something dry and white. You’re welcome!