An Update To a Classic
Fusilli with Caramelized Onions, Greens, Walnuts and Feta Cheese
As I mentioned on Thursday, this recipe was one of the first I penned for Back Pocket Pasta. It even made its way into the book’s proposal - that’s how much I love it. I recently got a bee in my bonnet about making it as it’s been some time, so I pulled out the book - something I also haven’t done in a long time. Ironically, BPP will turn five this Tuesday, February 28, so it felt like an appropriate time to revisit a recipe from my “youth.” I’m glad I did.
I kept the spirit of the recipe the same, but I swapped out oregano for thyme, swapped pasta shapes and also added in some greens. Because we all need them. I was lucky to find spigarello at my farm store. Spigarello is the broccoli family and has wavy leaves and tender stems and I adore it. I realize this will not be available everywhere, so I wrote the recipe to sub in lacinato kale, mature spinach or Swiss chard - they will will work well.
Also, a note on the onions. This is the only “labor intensive” step in the recipe. Caramelizing onions takes a solid 45 to 50 minutes. Any recipe that says otherwise is incorrect. Giving your onions the time they deserve to do so will reward you. It’s not a particularly hands on technique so you could do other things, say on a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, while they turn deeply golden brown and sweet. You will want to watch them closely towards the end as they may starting sticking to the bottom of the pot. If they do, add in a splash of water here and there to deglaze the pan and help them along.
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