Log in Register

Follow Nigella on: Facebook Twitter Vimeo Pinterest

Archive

ITALIAN KITCHEN

ITALIAN KITCHEN

by Anna Del Conte (Square Peg, 2012)

I make no secret of the fact that I am a lifelong fan of Anna del Conte, and feel that any cook's library that doesn't include her books misses indispensible volumes.  And whether you have all of her books or none of them, this is a cosy-must have, delivering unfussy Italian home cooking at its best. But then, Anna is the best!

I really could have chosen any of the recipes from this book but I am just craving her penne with onion sauce right now. Anna herself claims it to be her "standby sauce for pasta during the winter when I find tomato sauce too summery and cool, and comforting enough on a dark cold day."

I have a bit of a thing for spelt spaghetti at the moment and can heartily recommend it with that!

Penne with Onion Sauce

Penne in Salsa de Cipolle


This is my standby sauce for pasta during the winter when I find tomato sauce too summery and cool, and comforting enough on a dark cold day.

 

Serves 4 as a starter or 3 as a main course

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g red onions, very finely sliced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp Marmite
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 350g penne
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

METHOD

  1. Put the oil and the onion in a large sauté pan (one that has a lid), sprinkle with salt and cook for 10 minutes over a very low heat, stirring very often. Stir in the Marmite, cook for 1 minute and then mix in the flour. Mix thoroughly to incorporate the flour. Add about 100ml of boiling water and mix until all the liquid is simmering. Put the lid on the pan and cook over a very low heat for 30 minutes or so, stirring often and adding a few tablespoons of hot water whenever the onion starts to become too dry.
  2. Cook the penne in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente and, when it's ready, drain it and then add to the onion sauce. Stir-fry for a minute or two, then turn off the heat and mix in the butter. Mix well until the butter has melted and then serve, handing round the cheese in a bowl.