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Penne in salsa di cipolle (penne with onion sauce)
main courses | serves 4
Legendary Italian food writer Anna del Conte writes, "During the winter in my home in Milan, pasta was rarely dressed with a tomato sauce. My mother considered tomatoes, even the tinned sort, as a summer dish. Our favourite pasta sauce was this, made with local onions, which were reputed to be among the best."
1. Heat the oil in a lidded frying pan over a low–medium heat. Add the onions and a little sea salt. Turn down the heat to very low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, but not coloured.
2. Stir in the Marmite and cook for another 1–2 minutes. Add the flour, mixing it in thoroughly, then pour in 100ml of boiling water.
3. Keep stirring until it’s simmering, then put on the lid and simmer over a very low heat for 30–40 minutes, stirring often, until reduced. Add a few tablespoons of hot water if it becomes too dry. Season to taste.
4. Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the packet instructions. Drain well and add to the onion sauce. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Mix until the butter has melted, then serve with the grated cheese.
Drink: 2012 Winemakers’ Selection Chianti, £6, Sainsbury’s
Per serving: 515 cals, 20g fat (5.1g saturated), 12.6g protein, 76g carbs, 10g sugars
Recipe Anna del Conte
Photo Emma Lee
from Issue 48
ingredients• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 500g red onions, very
• ½ tsp Marmite
• 1 tsp plain flour
• 350g penne pasta
• 25g butter
• Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, to serve