February’s BrightRX is dedicated to hearty, soul-warming dishes. Cook them up on a snowy Sunday or lazy afternoon with loved ones. There’s a science behind why we eat warm foods in winter. They are comforting, of course, but they are also better for our bodies. In ancient Chinese medicine, ayurveda, eating warm foods in winter is believed to aid digestion. The digestive system has to work less to warm up and break down foods. So give your body a break, and enjoy these delicious recipes designed for winter warmth.
For the Pasta and Brussel Sprouts
1 (1-pound) box long-cut pasta, such as bucatini or fettuccine
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.
Meanwhile, arrange the prosciutto in an even layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the pasta cooks and the prosciutto bakes, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vinegar, jalapeno, and thyme and cook until the sprouts are glazed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the drained pasta, the pesto, goat cheese, Manchego, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add about . cup of the pasta cooking water and stir to create a sauce. Add 1 tablespoon more at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Divide the pasta evenly among eight bowls or plates and top each with crispy prosciutto.
For the Lemon Basil Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons toasted nuts or seeds, such as pine nuts, almonds, or raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes and pulse until smooth but still a little chunky, about 1 minute.
Taste and add salt as needed.
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.