Onions are delicious, but they taste divine once caramelized. The pungent and almost spicy taste of raw onions transforms into silky sweetness once onions are slowly cooked until golden and caramelized. Slow cooking is the key to get the right taste and not end up with burnt onions.
Caramelized onions are great as topping on pizzas, tarts or even on crackers. Stir some softened cream cheese and sour cream into caramelized onions for an instant dip for chips.
For today’s dish, I used caramelized onions and leeks to make a creamy pasta sauce and the final dish was just so delicious that my pictures (with no natural light), don’t do any justice at all. Leeks also come from the same onion family, but have mild onion taste. Here’s how I made the dish.
Cook the pasta as per package instructions and set aside.
In the meantime, heat 1tbsp olive oil in a saute pan; add onions and leeks and cook on medium flame, stirring occasionally until lightly browned around the edges. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook on medium-low flame until golden brown and caramelized, this will take anywhere between 20-30 minutes.
Add the stock and deglaze the pan; add tomato paste and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Slowly stir in heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the mixture thickens just a little bit. Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if using).
Turn off the heat and add Arugula/ spinach. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well to combine. Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese (if using).