Fusilli with Caramelized Onions and Kalamata Olives

1 of 3 in Series: Quick Shopping Night Pasta Dinner for Two

This quick meal is perfect for the busy holiday season. Throw it together after a late evening of Christmas shopping, and serve it with a salad. Fusilli is the perfect pasta shape to grab a hold of this caramelized onion sauce.

A large wok is the ideal vessel for sautéing the large amount of onions. You need to get your timing down right in this recipe. The pasta should be finishing at the same time the sauce is finishing. This synchronicity will make the best use of your time and produce the best results.

Fusilli with Caramelized Onions and Kalamata Olives

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

4 cups sliced yellow or white onions

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 cup dry vermouth

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

1/2 pound fusilli pasta

Parmesan cheese to taste

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed, deep-sided pan over medium heat. Keep the heat low enough to allow the onions to soften slowly and not burn. Stir frequently.

  2. After about 20 minutes, add the thyme and put the salted pasta water on to boil; cook the pasta. After about 30 minutes, the onions should be soft and caramelized. Turn the heat to high and add the vermouth. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the olives.

  3. Add a little of the hot pasta water to loosen up the sauce, beginning with 1 to 2 tablespoons, drain the pasta, and add the pasta to the onions. Toss and serve; pass the cheese and a pepper mill.

Adding pasta water back into a sauce is a “by-feel” kind of procedure. Start with a tablespoon or two, adding more if the sauce seems to need it. You’ll know. You want a sauce texture that will combine well with the pasta — not too thin so that it slides off, and not so firm so that it can’t be tossed with the pasta.

Dry vermouth is preferable, but a dry white wine is fine too.

Per serving: Calories 796 (From Fat 351); Fat 39g (Saturated 5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 485mg; Carbohydrate 97g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 16g.

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Quick Shopping Night Pasta Dinner for Two

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