Esquire (UK) - - EATS -

For four

Ev­ery­thing starts with an onion. I love that sim­ple rit­ual of peel­ing and chop­ping to cre­ate a small pile of pearly cubes. And when a recipe calls for a dif­fer­ent means of prepa­ra­tion, as with this dish, the veg­etable looks un­fa­mil­iar and some­how ex­otic. Ridicu­lous, I know, but it’s like see­ing an old friend in a dif­fer­ent out­fit. This is a store-cup­board sta­ple, a dish you should be able to make with­out go­ing to the shops, as­sum­ing that ev­ery larder has plenty of dried pasta, and that your kitchen, like mine, is never with­out onions. It is prob­a­bly the dish made most fre­quently by my Vene­tian neigh­bours if they want a quick, no-fuss lunch, and it has be­come a favourite of mine, too.

6 medium white onions

2 tb­sps ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

200ml chicken stock

400g dried spaghetti

A large knob of but­ter

Flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pep­per

A hand­ful of flat pars­ley leaves, chopped 100g Parme­san, grated 1. Peel the onions and, us­ing a very sharp knife, care­fully slice each one to cre­ate com­plete rings, around 5mm thick.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large fry­ing pan over a low to medium heat. Add the sliced onions and slowly sauté for 12–15mins, stir­ring fre­quently to make sure they don’t burn. They should take on a glossy, translu­cent ap­pear­ance with a hint of golden brown here and there.

3. Add the stock and cook for a fur­ther 10mins. If the stock bub­bles too fiercely, re­duce the heat. 4. Mean­while, bring a large pan of salted wa­ter to the boil and cook the spaghetti ac­cord­ing to the packet’s in­struc­tions.

5. When al dente, drain the pasta and add it to the fry­ing pan. Mix well over a gen­tle heat, adding the but­ter, a gen­er­ous pinch of salt and pep­per, the pars­ley and most of the Parme­san. 6. Take off the heat, in­cor­po­rate fully, and serve on warm plates with the re­main­ing

Parme­san scat­tered on top.

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