This flavor-packed, easy vegan pasta dish is made with spicy zhoug sauce, shredded brussels sprouts, and your choice of pasta. It's lemon-y, zesty, nutritious, and ready in 30 minutes! Make the zhoug in advance for even easier prep. Vegan with gluten-free and oil-free options.
Recently I was finishing some random leftovers, and found myself dipping roasted brussels sprouts in one of my all-time favorite condiments, zhoug. The pairing was SO good I couldn't wait to turn it into a recipe all its own. A spicy and comforting pasta dish seemed like the way to go.
Why We Love It
If you're familiar with zhoug (or zhug), you already know how amazing it is. It originated in Yemen and is essentially a pesto made with cilantro and peppers. So in other words, it's FRESH and completely addictive, in the healthiest way possible.
Earlier this year I shared a non-traditional, oil-free version using walnuts instead of oil, and jalapeños since they're readily available here in the States. I used that recipe, but you can use any zhoug recipe you like, or even store-bought zhoug.
This Zhoug Brussels Pasta is:
Spicy but not TOO spicy, which you can adjust to your liking.
Fresh and garlicky.
Filling, especially if you use whole-grain pasta.
Easy thanks to the food processor.
A quick way to prepare and enjoy brussels sprouts!
Nutritious thanks to cilantro, garlic, lemon, brussels sprouts, and Omega-3-rich walnuts.
How to Shred Brussels Sprouts With a Food Processor
Most food processors come with several accessories, but how often do you find yourself using anything other than the S-blade? Today we're putting the slicing disc to good use.
You'll end up with random-sized pieces of brussels sprouts, and that's okay! It's actually nice to have some larger slices alongside thinner green ribbons. And since we're sautéing the brussels sprouts and cook time is brief, irregularity in size really isn't a problem.
The number of brussels sprouts that will fit in the large feed tube of the food processor depends on their size. I was able to shred four at a time. Try not to pack them tightly. Working in batches, use the large tube to push them through the blade. It's as easy as that!
Shredding the brussels sprouts means they cook in just minutes, which I love.
Tips and Options
Gluten-free - Use your favorite GF pasta.
Oil-free - Use water or broth to thin the zhoug to the desired sauce consistency. And either dry-sauce the garlic and brussels in a properly pre-heated pan, or use a splash of broth.
Additions - Add cooked beans to make this pasta dish even more filling. Cannelini or chickpeas are perfect here.
Olive oil - if you don't need oil-free, feel free to add olive oil to the finished dish for extra richness.
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Spicy Zhoug Brussels Sprouts Pasta
- up to 1 batch Zhoug Sauce Thin with broth, water, or olive oil as desired for a saucy consistency.
- 8 ounces dried linguine or pasta of choice Regular, whole-grain, or gluten-free
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional For oil-free use broth to saute the garlic and brussels.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- Zhoug can be made in advance, which gives the flavors time to meld. Or if making zhoug now, shred the brussels sprouts first (Step 3), while the food processor is clean. Then transfer the shredded sprouts to a bowl, and proceed with making zhoug in the food processor.
- Fill a large pot with water, and cook pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is done, drain in a colander and rinse briefly with cold water to prevent sticking. Leave in the colander to drain.
- Fit food processor with the slicing disc. Depending on the size of the brussels sprouts, place 3 to 5 inside the large feed tube. Refer to photo. Turn machine on, and press down with the tube to push sprouts through the slicer. *If you don't have a food processor, shred the brussels sprouts by hand. Using a chef's knife, halve the sprouts, then slice into ribbons.
- Return the pasta pot to the stove, and preheat over medium heat. Add oil (or broth) and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add shredded sprouts, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. For oil-free, add more broth as needed so the garlic doesn't burn. Once brussels are softened and bright green, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of red papper flakes. Stir to combine, and remove from heat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add drained pasta to the pot, and stir to combine with the brussels sprouts. Add 1 to 1 ¼ cups zhoug sauce, and stir to distribute. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more zhoug and/or lemon, if desired. Serve warm.