Gemelli with Asparagus and Caramelized Onions

Gemelli with Asparagus and Caramelized Onions


Gemelli with Asparagus and Caramelized Onions


  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, peeled if thick, and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (about half a batch) Caramelized Onions (recipe below)
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. dried gemelli or penne
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Make caramelized onions ahead, then stir into weeknight meals for deep flavor fast.

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted waterto a boil. Meanwhile, put 2 Tbs. ofthe oil and the pancetta in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, untilthe pancetta begins to brown and renders much of its fat, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon,transferthe pancetta to a plate lined with papertowels. Raise the heatto medium high, add the asparagus, and seasonwith1/4tsp. salt. Stir often untilthe asparagus starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the caramelized onions and chicken broth, reduce the heatto medium low, cover, and cook untilthe asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in1/4tsp. pepper and set aside in a warm spot.
  2. Cook the pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, until it’s justtender, about 11 minutes. Reserve1/4cup ofthe pasta water. Drain the pasta and add itto the pan with the asparagus. Setthe pan over medium-high heat and toss well. Add 1/2cup ofthe Parmigiano,the vinegar, and the cooked pancetta and continue cooking, stirring, for1 minute to meld allthe flavors. Ifthe pasta begins to dry, add the reserved pasta water. Serve with a drizzle ofthe remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and a sprinkling ofthe remaining Parmigiano.


  • 720 CALORIES
  • 83G CARB
  • 35MG CHOL
  • 1,710MG SODIUM
  • 7G FIBER

Caramelized Onions

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 21/2 lb. Spanish onions or large yellow onions, peeled, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise, preferably using a radial cut (about 9 cups)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

This recipe has been developed for a 12-inch skillet. If you use a 10-inch skillet, reduce the recipe proportionally by about one-quarter.
Heatthe oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until itimmediately bubbles when an onion touches it, about1 minute. Add the onion, sprinkle with the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until it wilts completely and begins to stick to the bottom ofthe pan,10 to 20 minutes (much ofthe moisture will evaporate and the pan will begin to brown;the cooking time varies with the moisture content). Reduce the heatto medium low and cook, stirring and scraping the pan with a wooden spoon every few minutes.(Ifthe pan begins to look like it’s burning, add 2 Tbs. water, stir, and lowerthe heat a bit.) Cook, stirring and scraping and adding water as needed, untilthe onion is a uniform caramel brown, 30 to 45 minutes.(Ifthey haven’t begun to brown much after 20 minutes, raise the heatto medium.) Add a couple oftablespoons of water and scrape the pan well. Use right away or spread the onion on a baking sheet and let coolto room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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