Whole Grain Penne with Leeks, Pancetta, and Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts and pancetta go together like pasta and sauce, so why not combine them all? Caramelized leeks add another dimension of flavor. Bitto is a medium-hard Alpine cheese made from cow’s and goat’s milk. Parmesan would be a fine substitute.

3.3 pounds Barilla Whole Grain Penne
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 each finely diced leeks
1 pound diced pancetta
4 pounds thinly sliced brussels sprouts
8 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups shredded Bitto cheese
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Saute the pancetta and leeks in the oil until they are lightly browned. Add the sprouts and saute them until they are browned. Season with salt and pepper and set the mixture aside.

For each serving, to order: Reheat 1 1/3 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to a pan with the vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Bring everything to a simmer and plate. Garnish with 1 teaspoon parsley and about 1 tablespoon cheese.