Pasta with Smothered Onions Sauce

Pasta with Smothered Onions Sauce


For 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons lard  OR  2 tablespoons butter, with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds onions, sliced very thin, about 6 cups

  • salt

  • black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta Recommended pasta: Spaghetti is an excellent choice, but an even better one may be homemade tonnarelli. This is a rather dense sauce and if using homemade pasta, which is more absorbent than spaghetti, you should start with 1/2 tablespoon more lard or 1 tablespoon more butter when making the sauce.


  1. Put the lard or butter and olive oil, and the onions with some salt in a large sauté pan. Cover and turn heat to very low. Cook for almost an hour until the onions become very soft.

  2. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium high, and cook the onions until they become coloured a deep, dark gold. Any liquid the onions may have shed must now boil away.

  3. Add liberal grindings of pepper. Taste and correct for salt. Bear in mind that onions become very sweet when cooked in this manner and need an adequate amount of seasoning. Add the wine, turn the heat up, and stir frequently while the wine bubbles away. Add the parsley, stir thoroughly, and take off heat.

  4. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the grated Parmesan. As you toss, separate the onion strands somewhat to distribute them as much as possible throughout the pasta.

  5. Serve immediately.

Ahead-of-time note:

  1. You can cook the sauce entirely in advance up to the point where you add the parsley. When you are nearly ready to toss it with the pasta, reheat the sauce over medium heat and add the parsley just before draining the pasta.

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