Three-Cheese Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Sage Breadcrumbs

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Three-Cheese Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Sage Breadcrumbs
  • 4Servings


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 6 - 8 ounces piece Gorgonzola dolce
  • 1 cup shredded Fontina Val d'Aosta or Gruyere
  • About 1 cup (loosely packed) grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • A little freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • Finely ground white or black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne or other short cut pasta
  • 1 pint large Brussels sprouts, trimmed and leaves separated


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the Brussels sprouts and pasta.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium until hot, 3 to 4 minutes. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, one turn of the pan. Add 2 tbsp. butter and stir until melted. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, swirling the pan, until the vegetables are aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to blend, about 1 minute. Add the stock, then the hot milk. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, in a small skillet, melt the remaining 3 tbsp. butter over medium. When the butter foams, add the sage and cook until browned and crispy, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towels. Add the breadcrumbs to the brown butter in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Stir the three cheeses into the sauce; reduce the heat to low and season with nutmeg and pepper.

Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook to almost al dente. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until the pasta is al dente and the Brussels sprouts are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy cooking water, drain the pasta and sprouts and return to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and reserved cooking water; toss to coat and season, adding more cheese if desired. Divide among shallow bowls. Top with the breadcrumbs and sage.