So many of us are still cooking at home, aren’t we? I’ve been making this pasta dish for many years, but lockdown was probably the perfect time for it, because it does make your home (and maybe you) smell like butter and onions for a day.
I adjust the butter and especially the heavy cream for this recipe because … well, that’s a lot of fat! But you may want to add more cream, even up to twice as much, if you want the sauce to be looser.
Creamy caramelized onion pasta
1 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1.5 – 2 lbs. sweet yellow onions
2 tsp. sugar
1.5 tsp. salt
1-2 cups heavy cream (depends on how fatty you want your sauce, but damn, 2 cups is so good)
6 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Grated or shredded parmesan cheese
Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice your onions thin. Use a wide, thick-bottomed saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir to coat all the slices with butter. Add the sugar and salt, and mix again. Let the onions cook, stirring occasionally. Cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes. As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn.
You want to leave them alone enough to brown, but not so long so that they burn. After the first 20 to 30 minutes you may want to lower the stove temperature a little. As the onions cook down, you may find you need to scrape the pan every minute, instead of every few minutes.
When it’s a caramel-colored paste, add the cream and simmer. Just before you are done, add the chives, stir, and serve immediately over cooked pasta. Add pepper to your taste and parmesan cheese.
Tip: Don’t skip the chives! I don’t know what it is, but that last element pulls all the flavor together in a most magical way.