To make fresh bread crumbs, tear
Bread (2 slices)
into rough pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor or Vitamix blender. Pulse in quick spurts to create crumbs about the size of peppercorns.
Prepare the brussels sprouts. Cut the stem off of each
Brussels Sprouts (3 3/4 cups)
, then halve each one through the core.
Using a paring knife, remove the triangular cores and discard them. Pull the sprout halves apart so that the leaves fall off. You may need to tug at some. When you reach the heart of each one, set it aside. When all of the sprout leaves are gathered, thinly slice the collected hearts to be added to the leaves.
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, melt
Unsalted Butter (2 Tbsp)
over medium heat. Add 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs and toast until golden brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe the skillet clean and melt the remaining
Unsalted Butter (1/4 cup)
over medium heat. When the butter begins to turn brown with a nutty aroma, turn off the heat.
When the water is boiling, add the
Kosher Salt (1 Tbsp)
along with the
Orecchiette Pasta (8 oz)
. Check the recommended cooking time on your pasta package. Set the timer for 1 minute less than the time advised for al dente.
When the timer goes off, add the Brussels sprout leaves and heart slices to the pot. Continue to cook for 1 more minute. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid then drain the pasta and sprouts.
Rewarm the brown butter over medium heat. Add the pasta and sprouts along with some
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
. Toss lightly then taste and add more salt if needed. If the pasta is a bit dry, add some reserved cooking liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Just before serving, add most of the toasted bread crumbs and toss to combine. Offer the remaining bread crumbs on the side.