I have this friend named Pete. He is allergic to the onion. It's unfortunate and, I won't lie, has on occasion been the reason for a few good laughs between his wife and I, also a good friend. In my more rebellious moments, like this one time when his wife had a baby and I offered to bring the family a meal, I threatened to make french onion soup, or one big fat onion casserole--whatever that is. Or onion enchiladas. Onion quiche. Onion bread. See, it never gets old.
I thought about Pete the other night when I made this recipe--I call it "The One-Hour Onion"--because it was so good and so chalk-full of perfectly braised onions that I knew he would never get to try it, and I think I even said out loud as I stirred these onions, "poor Pete." But maybe I should have been more sad for his wife who does not have an onion allergy but probably won't ever make this. Because who would actually spend an hour making a slow-cooked onion sauce for pasta when it's just you who will be eating it? Oh, wait. I would, and I did, the other night. And it was glorious. Absolutely fabulous. I was inspired by this post and then I tweaked it a bit and the result was a simple sauce of brilliantly cooked onions in butter and a little bit of sugar, and then wine. Then you mix in some noodles, sprinkle with really good cheese and a touch of salt and oh my gosh. If you don't have an emotional reaction to this taste then you need to get your hormone levels checked or something. Seriously, if you don't like this I don't know how to help you.
One-Hour Onions w. Pasta
The key here is really to let the onions cook on super low heat for an hour. Don't rush this. The good news is you don't have to babysit these much as they cook. Just check on them here and there while you fold your laundry or something.
Here's what I did for a serving for 2:
1 onion, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
3 Tbl sugar
Couple glugs red wine
pinch of salt
really good Parmesan
about a 1/2 lb. cooked pasta (I used small shells)
Cook the onions and shallot in butter over very low heat for an hour. Check them and stir every once in awhile. After the first 10 min or so, sprinkle in the sugar. During the last 10 or 15 min, pour in the wine and stir. Add a few tablespoons of your hot pasta water at the end and stir. Scoop in the cooked pasta and stir. Serve with cheese and a sprinkle of salt.