Friday, March 11, 2011

Linguine with Sweet Melted Onions for (Sort of But Not Really) French Fridays with Dorie

I'm pretty adventurous and open-minded when it comes to food (if I do say so myself). I rarely wrinkle my nose at anything, and I'm game to try just about any dish you'll put in front of me. That said, I also know that there are certain flavor combinations I'm just not wild about. 

Case in point: dessert for dinner. Just ... no.  Not for me.

So when I read the ingredients list for Beggar's Linguine in Around My French Table, this week's French Fridays with Dorie dish, I knew I was going to have to make some serious changes. All those figs and dates in my pasta just added up to an unpleasant cloying sweetness in my mental palate. I realize that there are some traditional pasta dishes that call for raisins - I've even made one - but for me, in a savory dish the sweetness should be the accent, not the focal point.

At first, I hesitated to call this a French Fridays post, but my dish was absolutely inspired by Dorie's. (And besides, if you think I went off recipe, you should see what  Trevor did with this. Seriously, go check out Sis. Boom. Blog! for a really cool interpretation/transformation of this dish.) 

I knew that I wanted to keep a sweetness in my linguine, but rather than having this come from fruit, I went with caramelized red onions - the trick is to cook them low and slow until they melt and turn into sauce. Since this is my own dish, unlike on most French Fridays I can actually share the recipe with you.
Linguine with Sweet Melted Onions
serves 4 as a main course


6 oz pancetta, small dice
2 tbsp butter
2 large red onions, sliced thin
1 lb linguine, cooked al dente
(*reserve some of the water the pasta cooks in)
1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts
1-2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
fresh grated Parmesan, to taste
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Fry the pancetta in a deep skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove to drain. Turn the heat to low and  add the butter to the same pan. Add the onions and a dash of salt, and stir to coat. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, stirring ever 5 minutes or so, until the onions have "melted." Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, along with a dusting of Parmesan, the pancetta, 1 tbsp of parsley, and half of the walnuts. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce and distribute the ingredients evenly. If necessary to thin the onion sauce, add a bit of the pasta water to the skillet.  To serve, garnish each plate with additional walnuts, parsley, and Parmesan.

As always, Happy French Fridays. If you want to play along, pick of a copy of the book and get cooking! And make sure to check out what everyone else made here.





45 comments:

  1. A beautiful interpretation of this dish Trix! You shouldreally try the original version - I am thinking it would be great with bacon too! I am excited to try my chocolate pasta with this and make it into a true dessert dish.

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  2. I love the title of this dish! Sweet melted onions! Mmmmmmm :D

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  3. Thanks for the shoutout Trix! I may eventually get to the dish as written... Nah. Not gonna happen. lol. But I would def do this one. Looks great!
    Your stylish friend,
    Sis Boom.

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  4. I like your interpretation! Salty pancetta plus the sweet mellow onions: yum! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading future posts!

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  5. Love the change up! It's great seeing how everyone made this work for them.

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  6. Just hearing the words 'sweet melted onions' makes my mouth water! Your dish looks great!

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  7. I agree with title as when onion gets caramelized they become sweet, looks linguine is awesome.

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  8. I really like your variation, Trix. I enjoyed the original version, but my husband wasn't too excited about it. At least it was a quick pasta dish, nothing overly complicated to fuss with! Happy Friday.

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  9. I can't believe It has never occurred to me to use caramelized onions in pasta. Genius!

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  10. What a great, simple, but super flavorful pasta!

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  11. Beautiful photos - love your variation! :)

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  12. I had the same reservations about this dish but I actually loved it! I think it would be good for a brunch/early lunch because it is on the sweet side. You should give it a try sometime when you're feeling adventurous! :) Your photos look delicious!

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  13. I love linguine and yours looks exceedingly delicious!

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  14. Wooohooo thank you for sharing the recipe!! I love everything about it! This pasta dish sounds incredible... great job, Trix, as always.

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  15. Nice interpretation. Really like the idea of the pancetta. Might just try that. I'm a newbie to FFwDorie and I am late to the game on this week's recipe. Still hoping my energy lasts so I can give it a go later. I, too, am worried about the sweetness but it's so different I kind of want to try it to see what it's like. OTOH - pancetta....and caramelized onions...OH MY

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  16. Hey Trix, yeah, I know how you are about things getting too sweet in a main dish. I love it but it can get 'cloying' as you said-that's a good word for that feeling inspired by too much sugar. Oh, but caramelized onions sounds like it would be just as good and still a touch sweet. Yum!
    p.s. That top photo is awesome. I love that and want pasta now;)

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  17. Your version looks marvelous!!! I made a quarter batch knowing it wouldn't fly around here, but I enjoyed my teeny portion :)

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  18. wow not even being able to eat this I can say it does look fabulous.. great pictures!

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  19. Sweet melted onions? Who wouldn't want that? And it's nice that it lends a slightly sweet taste to the pasta. It's probably not a good idea for me to perusing food blogs at the moment -- I'm starving. And this pasta dish looks so wonderfully satisfying! :-p

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  20. Beautiful bowl of pasta Trix, with or without dried fruit. The almost original recipe was good, although on the sweet side but the brown butter seemed to balance the whole thing out. I love waffles or pancakes, with butter and lots of maple syrup, for dinner so a pasta like this has my name written all over it;-)

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  21. This linguine sound amazing with the caramelized red onions and I like the pancetta and walnuts here too, so delicious!

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  22. I was not inspired when I saw this recipe on deck this week. I tried it more or less as written, just to see how it would be. Your version with sweet melted onions sounds much more appealing. I'll try your recipe soon.

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  23. Love your pasta dish! and the photos are superb!

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  24. Your interpretation sounds light AND sweet -- just perfect for a weekend lunch. Thanks for the inspiration! Theresa

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  25. Trixie Girl! Lovely, lovely first fork photo--LOVE it! Okay, and while you are not a fan of the sweet dinner, so glad you gave this a try! Totally worth it!

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  26. not sure of the sweetness with the pasta either, with pork or something else for sure.... like how you kept a little sweetness going with the onions, though Georgia's Vidalia sweet onions (not in season) would be heavenly in this....

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  27. Your version sounds fantastic, love your initiative!
    You photos are gorgeous!

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  28. Yeah! Congratulations on making it to the Top 9!

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  29. Definitely love this interpretation of the dish! And I'm definitely in agreement with you, fruit should just be an accent in savory dishes!

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  30. Sweet melted onions? Sigh* Thanks for posting this! Definitely on my dinner to-do list!

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  31. Wow, the pasta is looking delish and am surely going to give it a shot next week. congrats on top 9 !

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  32. Beautiful pictures! I added bacon to the original recipe and tossed the pasta in a little bacon grease before adding it to the butter mix and it turned out quite nice.

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  33. I totally agree with you about the sweetness being an accent and not the focal point of the dish. There is one dish that I use figs and that is sweet enough for me, no more needed. Your pasta looks amazing and just perfect! Congrats on the top 9, sorry I'm late.

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  34. I cannot argue against melted onions:) And pancetta. Those two cannot go wrong in my book.
    I did not make the pasta, because the inhabitants of my household are probably related to you more than me in this instance:)
    Love your photos!
    I so look forward to reading your posts every week:)

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  35. Oh rules are meant to be broken...your version should be part of the Friday event and it looks just wonderful too. Love the onion and pancetta

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  36. This version will suit me better! LOVE

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  37. Yeah, me too! I hardly say no to almost any food..... still a "NO" to those deep fried crickets or scopians! Yikes! I'll have to say this is such delightful meal. Thanks for sharing it.
    Have a great great day!
    Kristy

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  38. It looks perfectly delicate and delicious! I'm curious, do you think it would hold up well with whole grain pasta?

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  39. Wonderful interpretation...looks fantastic!

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  40. This looks so simple and elegant. Which to me, equals perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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  41. I need this in my life. So simple and so beautiful. You never let me down, Superstar!

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  42. Those caramelized onions sound wonderful. I could dig into the that plate right now!

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