I just came back from a transatlantic flight and was exhausted. My family has been without any of my cooking for several weeks and I thought it would be a nice gesture to cook for them despite my obvious exhaustion. However, nobody who is truly exhausted wants to cook something overly complicated or labor-intensive. Thus, I was looking to cook something that would only draw upon a few ingredients, that would either be quick or simply cook in the background without me having to stay in the kitchen the entire time, and something that would satisfy even those among us who prefer their food mostly beige.
While I was cooking, I managed to play a few board games with my daughter because, you guessed it – the preparation of this dish was not quick, but it basically cooked itself while I was able to have some fun.
And here it is:
¼ cup olive oil.
1 ½ lbs. onions, coarsely chopped.
1 tsp. salt.
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper.
½ white wine.
8 Tbs. Heavy Whipping Cream.
4 Tbs. finely chopped Italian parsley.
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage.
3 Tbs. finely chopped basil.
2 Tbs. fresh thyme.
½ tsp. dried marjoram.
1 lb. Fettuccine
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Let's get started:
Heat a large pan over medium-low heat.
Add the olive oil and let it heat up.
Add the chopped onions and sauté for about 40 minutes while stirring occasionally. Make sure the onions do not burn – if you see that they are developing black fringes, turn down the heat some more. The long cooking time will allow the onion to caramelize and take on a very sweet flavor. Burning the onions, however, will impart a very harsh and undesirable flavor – thus, please pay close attention. It's okay to start on low heat – the onions have plenty of time to caramelize properly.
Just before the onions are done, fill a large pot with water and salt for the pasta and bring it to a boil while you keep working on the onions.
When the onions are a nice golden brown, add the salt and pepper. Stir.
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente.
Raise the heat of the onions to medium-high and sauté for just a minute or two.
Add the white wine and deglaze while you scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
Let simmer for two minutes.
Add the cream and herbs to the pan. Stir.
Taste for seasonings and adjust to your liking.
Simmer for one minute.
When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it and add it to the pan with the onion/cream sauce.
Add the parmesan.
Mix it all together.