Whether you love them or hate them, saute them with bacon or roast them with olive oil, Brussels sprouts are generally on the side of the plate, not at the center.
Lately there's been a notable exception: pasta. Pasta with Brussels sprouts and bacon is the new pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage. Everyone seems to have a recipe for it, and that's all to the good.
As a devotee of both Brussels sprouts and pasta (and broccoli rabe, for the record), I've embraced this trend.
I've made the dish countless times -- with the bacon and without, with long pasta and short pasta, with quartered Brussels sprouts and sliced Brussels sprouts. I've added red wine and leeks; I've added nuts and cheese; I've broiled the sprouts instead of sauteing them. I've even deep-fried the sprouts, which was wonderful but much too messy to attempt again on a weeknight.
Of all these variations, I have a new favorite.
It's simple. Everything goes into one pan.
It's fast. Other than the Brussels sprouts themselves, you probably already have everything you need. (You can leave out the rosemary if there's none in your fridge.) You can crave it at 8 and be eating by 8:30.
To slice the Brussels sprouts, use a knife or a food processor. A food processor is faster, but then you have to clean it. A Benriner mandoline works, too, but I find the sprouts just as easy to slice by hand. The slices do not need to be paper thin either; 1/8 inch is lovely. Unevenly sliced sprouts -- some 1/8 inch and some a little thicker or thinner -- are even better. The thinner slices will become brown and crisp, while the thicker slices soften and caramelize, and all will commingle beautifully in the sauce (good news for the imprecise slicers out there, myself included).
A note about the bacon. For this dish, I prefer pancetta, which is unsmoked. The flavor is porkier and earthier, and I think a better match for the sweetness of the sprouts. But use whichever you have. Or leave out the meat entirely and top the dish generously with gratings of a young pecorino or Manchego.
If you are among the legion of Brussels sprouts haters, this dish may well convert you. If it doesn't, you can always try it with broccoli rabe.