Caramelized Onion Pasta with Toasted Panko and Cheese

This pasta is incredibly flavorful and made with simple ingredients.  Serve as a delicious side dish or vegetarian main.  Add whatever you like.  I think it would be outstanding with chopped leftover chicken and petite frozen peas…YUM!

I take an additional step in the process because my guys wouldn’t appreciate identifiable onions and garlic chunks.  I give the mixture a whirl in the blender before adding it to the cooked pasta.  Skip this step if you wish.

Here we go….

We’ll start by toasting the panko.  Preheat the oven to 375′ and give the crumbs a drizzle of olive oil, mix well to coat and spread over a cookie sheet.  Bake for 5-6 minutes. 

They should be golden brown.  Allow to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the toasted panko, grated parmesan cheese, and dried parsley, mix well.  Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Caramelize onions until they are golden brown as seen above.  This should take about 25-30 minutes.   Add garlic and 1/2 cup each chicken broth and wine.  Cook for 4 minutes.

Omit this step if you wish.  I blend the onion/wine/broth mixture to a smooth sauce so my guys will eat it.  They love the taste of onions and garlic but don’t much appreciate visible onions or garlic chunks.

It will look like this.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and toss the pasta with the sauce.  Top with the panko/cheese/parsley mixture.  The sweetness of the onions and garlic combined with the sharpness of the parmesan and the crunch of the panko will cause a party in your mouth!  Enjoy!

Rotelle Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Panko

 For the Crumbs:
½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley

 For the Pasta:

2 ½ cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth (or use ½ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon with ½ cup water)
½ pound cooked whole wheat curly pasta (or your favorite kind)

 1)  Preheat oven to 375’.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over bread crumbs and stir to evenly coat.  Spread over cookie sheet and bake 5-6 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Once cool put into a small mixing bowl with the parmesan and the parsley, mix well.  Set aside

2)  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring often until they turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Add the garlic, wine and the chicken broth, cook for about 4 minutes.

3)  You may omit this step if you wish.  I put the onion/wine/garlic mixture into the blender so that my people will eat it.  They love the taste of onions and garlic but not necessarily the stringy pieces of onion and chunks of garlic.  It’s a texture thing.

4)  Cook the pasta according to package directions in salted water.  Drain well and gently toss with the onion mixture and top with the panko/cheese/parsley mixture.  Serves 4.

*if you’d like to make this vegetarian, simply substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.

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  1. This was great! I added an anise flavor by subbing tarragon for the dried parsley and adding some fennel seeds.