Two words - PASTA & BACON
6 tbsp FRENCH'S® Dijon Mustard
4 tbsp Fig Balsamic Vinegar (or regular Balsamic)
1.5 sticks of butter (1/2 of a stick for veggie marinade and 1 stick for brown butter for pasta)
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut into quarters
1/3 lb bacon, thicker cut if possible
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 lb short cut pasta, I use campanelle
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet pan with aluminum foil and a baking rack (for the bacon) as well as another cookie sheet pan with aluminum foil (for the veggies). Place your oven racks in the center of the oven (bacon will cook on the top rack and the veggies will cook on the bottom rack).
1. Place the sweet potatoes in one bowl and the Brussels sprouts in another. Combine the vinegar, 4 Tbsp. French’s Dijon Mustard, and a 1/2 stick of butter, melted in to a bowl. Pour half of the marinade on the cut up sweet potatoes and the other half over the Brussels sprouts. Pour the sweet potatoes on the aluminum covered pan and cover with foil, place in the oven (on the lower rack) and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and add in the Brussels sprouts and bake another 10-12 minutes until the potatoes and sprouts. Once all the veggies are lightly browned/caramelized, remove from the oven, add salt and pepper and toss to combine potatoes and sprouts evenly.
2. While the veggies are baking prepare your bacon, these should go in the oven when the potatoes are baking to allow time for them to cool. Add the brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. French’s Dijon Mustard to a zip top bag and make sure they are well blended. Add the bacon to the bag and make sure each piece of bacon is coated with the sugar/mustard mixture. Then carefully place each piece of bacon on the rack in the aluminum foil covered cookie sheet pan. Place on the top rack in the oven and back for 15-18 minutes – watch it carefully in the last couple of minutes to ensure that the bacon does not overcook. You are looking for a glazed dark brown color as the bacon will be “candied” from the sugar/mustard mixture. Remove from the oven and let cool, then break/cut into small pieces.
3. While the bacon and the veggies are cooking make your pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt per package directions. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, then drain, cover and set aside.
4. Make the brown butter by putting the butter in a small sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the butter solids turn a light golden brown and starts to smell nutty. Once butter is beginning to brown, pull off the heat and pour over the pasta and toss well.
5. To serve, place equal amounts in each bowl: pasta in the brown butter, the veggie mixture and then top with the cut up pieces of the candied bacon.
Please use kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper in lieu of table salt and pre-ground pepper.