Friday, February 20, 2009

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

I love caramelized onions, so when I saw this recipe for Pappardele with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan in the blog Cook Like a Champion, I had to bookmark it. The original recipe comes from Everyday Food.

I made this the other night with a few slight changes. I added spinach, and had to use fettucine since I couldn't find pappardele anywhere - weird, right?


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) pappardele pasta or 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • Added: 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • Next time will add: 1/4 c dry white wine


  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, without stirring, until onions have released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. When bottom of skillet darkens, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon (you may need to do this 2 or 3 times).
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When onions have about 10 minutes left to cook, add pasta to water in pot, and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. I didn't return the pasta to the pot...see below
  • I didn't do this: Add onions and butter to pasta in pot; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Instead, I added spinach to the onion pan, and then added the pasta and pasta water. There was some great flavor in the pan from caramelizing the onions, so I wanted to make use of that by mixing the dish in the onion pan. Next time I think I'd deglaze the pan with white wine before adding the spinach and pasta.
  • Gradually add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve pasta topped with Parmesan.

My only mistake was that I pulled out my julienne slicer instead of my vegetable slicer, so I had thin strips of Parmesan. They tasted the same, but weren't as pretty as the slices of Parm in the original picture.

This was good. Very sweet, but good.

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  1. Looks delicious and a great meatless meal!

  2. I really like what you did with this. I'm definately going to try it your way next time I make this.

  3. Looking forward to trying this one too. Will prob replace spinach with shre3dded Silver Beet (Swiss Chard) as it is in full flight in the garden.

    The print button works! Thank you!

  4. Pappardelle is sometimes in the fresh pasta section... definitely at Whole Foods, not sure if you have one around. Egg noodles are also a good substitue!