1 pound Brussels sprouts*
2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice**
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon good-quality Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly-ground pepper
1 tablespoon water
* 1 pound of brussels sprouts = approximately 50 tiny sprouts or 17 to 20 large sprouts. Buy Brussels sprouts of roughly equivalent size so they cook evenly.
** Lean, thin-sliced bacon or prosciutto may be substituted.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Cut the stems from the Brussels Sprouts, halve each one lengthwise, and remove any blemished leaves. With a V-shaped cut, remove the core. This technique opens the leaves of the sprouts slightly without destroying their integrity, which makes available more area, and more texture, for the added flavorings to hang on to.
Toss together Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in an 11- by 7-inch baking pan; spread in 1 layer.
Roast in upper third of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, approximately 25 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of the pan. Toss the mixture again before serving. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.