Monday, April 23, 2012

Onions caramelized in red wine with spaghettini


1 large onion, chopped in rings
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste

The onion is one of those kitchen-staples that I've always just taken for granted, chopped finely, as the invisible basis for many sauces. I use onions so often and so thoughtlessly that until now, I never gave them a second glance or treated them with imagination or creativity.

However, making my first real Julia Child French onion soup changed my perspective on onions for good. Just observing the transformation of the onions from their raw state into a sweet and tender yet still savory delight was something of a small revelation. Onions are excellent and reliable background singers, but from time to time they do deserve to be the star in the spotlight.

So this easy pasta recipe takes the idea and technique of an onion soup and applies it to make a sauce. Having just talked about the pleasure of old-fashioned chopping, I chopped my onion in rings similar in size as for a soup - not to thin so they would still keep some texture. On a very small flame and covered with a lid, I sauteed them for around 5 minutes in olive oil, then removed the lid and sauteed them with lots of stirring for 20 minutes (this is when you want to start heating the water for the pasta). Once I added the spaghettini (for this dish, I prefer them over spaghetti because of their airiness) to the boiling water, I poured the red wine over the onions, and just before the pasta is ready, I thickened the sauce with tomato paste and a little bit of the pasta water.

The quest is on for more onion-recipes!

Life is good!


  1. genau das Richtige, Abwechslung in unsere ewig gleiche Tomatensaucetristesse zu bringen

  2. I love onions, especially when caramelized! this is such a tasty new way to use them!

  3. Sounds so easy and delicious. I want some right now, and it's not even 9 a.m. =) I am making a resolution to do more with onions! They're so versatile.

  4. Oh, my, but this sounds good. My family would devour this dish. Ramps would work well in the garlic sauce. Ihope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  5. I love a simple easy dish like this. I hear you Mary! I have to tell you, I made a quick marinara sauce last night and sauteed garlic and ramps, a little salt, and it was so delicious and heavenly! You were right! :) Finding all kinds of ways to use ramps.


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