Here's an Italian-style presentation of Brussels sprouts that makes them tasty without adding too much fat.

We started with a dozen nice, fresh sprouts -- about 12 ounces -- cutting off the stem end and discarding any loose or wilted outer leaves, then cutting an X deeply into the root end of each one to facilitate quick cooking.

Boil, covered, in about 1 inch of salted water for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sprouts are just fork-tender but not overcooked.

While they're simmering, heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet with one or two large garlic cloves, sliced paper-thin, and a sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes, keeping the heat very low so the garlic and red pepper warms and becomes very aromatic but doesn't burn. When the sprouts are just about done, pour off the water and drain, then turn them into the skillet with the garlic and pepper-scented oil; increase heat to medium and stir until the sprouts are covered with the oil and sizzling. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon and continue cooking until it's reduced, then pour them into a serving bowl and toss with 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and a healthy grind of black pepper, and serve.