SPAGHETTI WITH ONIONS
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.