Slow-Cooked Onion Fettuccine with Crispy Pangrattato

BRING ON THE FALL FLAVORS. As the shadows grow longer, I begin to crave fall flavors. The heat outside, however, is keeping me from firing up the oven for the usual braises and stews. This stovetop recipe is the perfect transitional dish as we very slowly move out of summer and into some deeper and more robust fall flavors. Plus I recently learned that onions, especially red onions, are so high in antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer phytonutrients that we should all be eating them by the boatload!
By | September 17, 2014


Serves 3 to 4

  1. Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add yellow onion, red onion, leeks, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have cooked down, about 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover and continue to cook until deeply caramelized and soft, about 30 additional minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add cognac to onions and cook for 1 minute, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Remove thyme sprigs and transfer onion mixture to large bowl and wipe out skillet.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta.
  6. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in now empty skillet over medium-low heat. Add bread crumbs and garlic and cook, stirring, until browned. Season with salt and pepper and set pangrattato aside.
  7. Cook pasta according to package instructions, saving ½ cup of the cooking water before draining.
  8. Add hot pasta to bowl with onion mixture; add cheese and heavy cream. Gently toss while adding enough cooking water to create a silky sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve fettuccine topped with pangrattato, thyme leaves, and chives.

*Notes: Try serving this alongside a perfectly-cooked steak.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1 small leek, dark green tops removed, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 bushy sprigs thyme, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces fresh or dried fettuccine
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Splash heavy cream
  • Chopped chives, for serving
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