My family loves pasta, but I get tired of the old red sauce/white sauce debate.
Yet I’ve heard people claim they can’t eat pasta without sauce. Umm, hello, even if you can’t see your pasta drowning in sauce, it’s there. I agree, plain pasta is pretty boring, but there are a million combinations out there just waiting to be tried.
Rigatoni with caramelized onions and gorgonzola creates something completely out of the ordinary and delicious. I love how easily this flavorful pasta comes together. While it takes a little time to caramelize the onions, it’s mostly hands-off work and everything happens quickly at the end. Using a cast iron or stainless steel skillet will allow your onions to caramelize perfectly, you just won’t get the same outcome in a non-stick skillet. Make sure to reserve some of the pasta water which you’ll use to deglaze the onion pan and create an almost invisible sauce that will adhere to the pasta.
Gorgonzola is kind of a new cheese to me. I discovered it at what is arguably one of the best restaurants in town because they make a cream sauce out of it and put it on literally everything they serve. And if it’s good enough to top everything, it’s good enough for me. Gorgonzola can be a little salty, so make sure you wait until the dish is finished to add salt to taste. These few simple ingredients melt together to create a truly rich, unique flavor.
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Rich caramelized onions, tangy gorgonzola, and al dente pasta!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 small sweet onions
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat.
Cut the ends off the onions, remove outer skin, cut in half, and then slice thinly from end to end. Add onions and garlic to the oil and stir to coat in oil. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the onions and garlic to cook, barely sizzling and stirring every 5-10 minutes. The onions and garlic are done when they are soft and golden, 40-60 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn. If things are browning too quickly reduce the heat slightly.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook rigatoni according to package directions. Just before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Once the onions are completely caramelized, add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir until the onions have almost completely absorbed the water and add the gorgonzola cheese. Stir for about a minute or until the cheese just begins to melt. If the mixture looks dry at all you can add a bit more pasta water. Transfer the entire mixture to the pot with the pasta making sure to get all the oil and any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir thoroughly to coat the pasta with the cheese, onions, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.