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Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

Onions, the king of pantry staples, reign supreme in this dish: They're slowly caramelized, then tossed with pasta and Parmesan.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) pappardelle pasta or 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, without stirring, until onions have released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. When bottom of skillet darkens, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon (you may need to do this 2 or 3 times).

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When onions have about 10 minutes left to cook, add pasta to water in pot, and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot.

  3. Add onions and butter to pasta in pot; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Gradually add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve pasta topped with Parmesan.

Cook's Note

The secret to this pasta is cooking the onions until they're a deep golden brown; to keep them intact, stir only occasionally. Pappardelle, like other egg-based noodles, cook very quickly (even when sold dried). We like this pasta with butter-and-cheese sauces, such as this one.

Reviews (13)

  • purplepentacle 12 Feb, 2015

    If you read the heading just above the box where you type in your review, you will see that it clearly says "Review This Recipe". Not complain about not liking the format of the sight. Geez, if you are that troubled by the lack of nutritional data, don't use the website, or at least complain to the right people. The recipe is delicious and simple and my family loves it.

  • blondebruin 23 Apr, 2013

    Made this tonight with grilled chicken on top. It was really simple and easy, and tasted good! Don't substitute the shaved parmesan for the grated kraft kind--the parm was the best part!

  • kutest 10 Feb, 2013

    This was great. Kids loved it too. I made homemade pasta and cut into long wide ribbons. Served with a Caesar salad its is a perfect meal.

  • kaeton 1 Oct, 2011

    This recipe is outstanding.

  • OneFunkyDiva 2 Apr, 2011

    I also agree with the other posters. Yes, I know know there are websites out there where I can plug in all the ingredients to get the nutritional information. But, it's a hassle. The nutritional info should be posted with the recipe. Period. I won't even attempt to make this without it.

  • ladyjane333 2 Apr, 2011

    I absolutely agree with the other posters. I am on a very strict diet and need to know the nutritional value of everything I eat. Most every site with recipes has this information, and I am not sure this one doesn't. I would like to try this dish, but I won't until I know.

  • sjb48 1 Apr, 2011

    I should not have to go to another website to find out the nutritional values of these recipes. So many people have requested this and I am just baffled as to why it is just ignored. As a diabetic, it is extrememly important, and I find that a lot of sites and magazines leave out the amounts of sugars. I won't make anything without knowing.

  • tanya1972 1 Apr, 2011

    It used to be really easy to add recipes to your collection, but since the site was redesigned I can't figure out how to do it! Anyone worked it out??

  • slosh8715 14 Jul, 2010

    I see comments on many recipes about there being no nutrition information. Apparently people are not aware there are many sites out there that you can plug the ingredients in and it will figure it out for you. It is quite easy.

  • michelou 2 Mar, 2010

    it is so frustrating that none of these recipes have nutritional information on them.

  • jjchicago88 14 Feb, 2010

    made this was absolutely delicious and easy. the sweetness of the onions pairs really well with the thyme. so good!

  • MASAbond 7 Feb, 2009

    This was fantastic. Will definitely make it again and again. So easy too!

  • christyortiz 5 Feb, 2009

    Excellent Taste. Highly Recommend this easy recipe.

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