Pasta With Smothered Onion Sauce (Marcella Hazan)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is an easy, delicious, and simple recipe from "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan. You just mix all the ingredients on the stove and come back and hour later. The onions get meltingly soft and sweet. It'salso great with some crumbled blue cheese. If you use homemade pasta, which is more absorbent than spaghetti, you should start with 1 tbsp more butter when making the sauce. TO MAKE AHEAD : You can cook the sauce entirely in advance up to the point where you add the parsley. When you are nearly ready to toss with the pasta, reheat the sauce over medium heat and add the parsley just before draining the pasta.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the butter and olive oil, and the onions with some salt in a large sauté pan. Cover and turn heat to very low. Cook for almost 45 minutes to an hour until the onions become very soft.
  2. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium high, and cook the onions until they become colored a deep, dark gold. Any liquid the onions may have shed must now boil away.
  3. Add liberal grindings of pepper. Taste and correct for salt. Bear in mind that onions become very sweet when cooked in this manner and need an adequate amount of seasoning. Add the wine, turn the heat up, and stir frequently while the wine bubbles away. Add the parsley, stir thoroughly, and take off heat.
  4. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the grated Parmesan. As you toss, separate the onion strands somewhat to distribute them as much as possible throughout the pasta. Serve immediately.
Most Helpful

5 5

Wonderful dish. I used the suggested spaghetti. :)

4 5

This was good but kind of bland. I had to put about 3 times as much parmesan cheese as it called for to give it a little flavor. To future cooks, I would use this as a delicous base but liven it up with other spices and vegetables.

2 5

Didn't work out as I wanted it to , it was very bland . Not a fan of onions