Brussels Sprouts really get a bad rap.  I can’t say they haven’t warranted it in the past either.  During the days of over-steaming vegetables to the point of mush, the sprouts left a particularly pungent odor and flavor that make me cringe to this day.  Yet, a little (mind you little) steam, and some delicious coating, and your meat and potatoes never had such a companion.  Let yourself dare to hope and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces paper-thin slices pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T. course grain mustard

Partially cook the Brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and saute until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the mustard, just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts. Serve warm.

(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

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