Lemony pasta with charred Brussels sprouts and pancetta
Serves 2: Clean, trim, then quarter or halve about a pound of Brussels sprouts. Set aside. Cut a ½-inch thick slice of pancetta into little strips. In a cast iron pan, cook pancetta on low heat until some of the fat renders out and the pancetta is sort of crispy and golden. Remove from pan. Add about a tbsp of duck fat or olive oil to the pancetta drippings and turn the heat up to medium-high. When duck fat is slightly smoking, carefully place Brussels sprouts in pan, cut side down and cook undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes or longer until bottom is golden and slightly charred. Sauté and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on if you like your sprouts on the crunchier or softer side.
Meanwhile, cook ½ lb. pasta according to package directions, drain and reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
When sprouts are ready, turn the heat down low, toss in the cooked pasta and thoroughly combine. Add about ½ cup of pasta cooking water so things aren’t too dry, and stir in the reserved pancetta. Season with salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and lemon zest from a small lemon. Toss everything with juice from that small lemon, transfer to plates, serve and enjoy.