Updated February 15, 2021
Caramelized Onion Fettuccine
Get ready for your kitchen to smell heavenly! The secret to this pasta is cooking the onions until they’re a deep golden brown, intense with flavor to balance the minimal ingredients. They should be mostly broken down, almost melting into the hot pasta to create a simple sauce. To prevent them from becoming mushy, stir only occasionally.
To make this more of a carbonara instead of a cream sauce, omit the cream and beat together one egg with the Parmesan cheese. Add to the hot pasta along with the caramelized onions and serve immediately.
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces (225 g) fettuccine
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional, to taste
cup (30 ml) heavy cream
cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until reduced and dark in color, about 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup (118 ml) pasta water.
Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic cloves and oregano along with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. If you like your pasta more on the spicy side, feel free to add in a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the heavy cream and add the drained, hot pasta along with ¼ cup (59 ml) reserved pasta water.
Using tongs, quickly toss to combine and add in the Parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too thick, add remaining pasta water to thin.
VEGAN VERSION: Replace heavy cream with Cashew Cream (page 184), same amount. Replace Parmesan cheese with Vegan Parmesan Cheese (page 182), same amount.
Reprinted with permission from Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation by Alexandra Caspereo, Page Street Publishing Co. 2016.
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