Saturday, April 27, 2013

French Onion Pasta

Okay so I liked French onion soup and all things like it.  I have made the soup (with braised short ribs) and I have even made a French onion grilled cheese.  Both have been huge hits here in the Tucker house.  So, when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for French onion pasta, I figured it was going to be another easy home run!

Here is the thing... I have realized that I am a bit of a snob.  I prefer to grate my own cheese, puree my own pumpkin... hell I've even made my own Greek yogurt.  I frown upon short cuts like box mixes, flavor packets, powdered cheese.  And so now that I think about it, why on earth would I have assumed that I would like a recipe that calls for Lipton Onion Soup mix!?!  No offense to Lipton or the Lipton lovers out there, but I am the girl who spent an hour and a half caramelizing onions for real French onion soup.  So nothing from a packet is going to compare to the flavors you get from stirring over low heat for 90 minutes!  

Which leads me to this dish.  It is definitely a great idea: penne with a French onion sauce made with garlic, marsala wine, and mozzarella cheese.  But the fact that there is actually not a single onion in it is just an issue for me.  A packet of soup mix is just not going to do it for me.  With that said, not surprisingly, Kenzie and Nick absolutely loved it, and between the two of them, they totally devoured the entire dish (it doesn't make all that much).  They are just willing to eat things that are more.... processed... than I am.  Nick said it was one of the best things I ever made! Ha! Go figure.

Anyway, I am not giving up on this recipe completely.  Like I said, it is a great idea, and I think if I made my own caramelized onions and used that instead of the packet, it would be amazing.  Maybe some more vegetables added in there too - it's all the same color!  Maybe with some tweaks, it will be a real success story!


French Onion Pasta

2 cups of uncooked penne pasta
1 to 1.5 cup of chicken stock
1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup mix
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup of marsala wine
4 tablespoons of light cream
1 tablespoon of flour
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon of EVOO

1)  Cook pasta according to directions; set aside and keep warm.

2) In a saucepan, heat the EVOO. Add the shallots and garlic, stir continually until soft and fragrant.  Add the marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck on pieces of onion.

3)  Add the stock and soup mix packets, allow to cook on low for about 20 minutes.

4)  Stir in flour, whisking continually until well incorporated and thickened. Add the light cream, mix well.
5)  Add the pasta to the sauce, stir well.  Pour into an oven safe dish. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Set it under the broiler until the cheese gets a little crispy.

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