Spaghetti With Caramelized Onions, Spinach, and Parmesan Cheese

Talk about bang for the buck.  This pasta requires almost no effort but is really flavorful.  A perfect weeknight meal.

Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Spinach, and Parmesan Cheese, adapted from Dinner, A Love Story

(Side dish: salad)


  • olive oil
  • 2-3 onions
  • spaghetti (the Good Enough Gourmet always uses the whole package)
  • 1 bag baby spinach (the original recipe says frozen is ok)
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • balsamic vinegar
  • parmesan or romano cheese


1) Boil water for pasta.

2) Slice the onions.  I love recipes where you slice onions, instead of chopping — so much easier!  The recipe calls for 3 large onions, but the Good Enough Gourmet got tired of slicing onions after 2.  Two seemed ok to me, but if your onions are small, then use 3.

3) Cook the onions in some olive oil (“a few glugs” was the technical term in the original recipe) in a large skillet until they are brown.  Mine took 25 minutes the other night.  Stir from time to time.  At some point during the cooking, add some salt and red pepper flakes.

4) While the onions are cooking and you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, make your side dish.  In my case it was a salad.  Mesclun greens and whatever I had around — tomatoes, cucumber, blue cheese (left over from the millet of a few days ago), and sliced almonds.  Don’t forget to stir the onions while you’re making your side dish.

5) Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Here’s my spaghetti secret, but if you’re Italian, please skip the next sentence because this may be heresy.  I break the spaghetti in half to make it easier to eat.  I put the unopened package perpendicular to the edge of the counter, hold both ends, and bend until the pasta breaks in the middle.  Then I open the package and pour the neatly broken spaghetti into the water.

6) One or two minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the spinach to the pot with the spaghetti.

7) Drain the pasta and spinach.  Add a little balsamic vinegar to the onions.  Then add the pasta and spinach to the skillet and stir together.  Tongs are a great tool for this.  Tongs are also great for serving spaghetti.  Add a little olive oil so the spaghetti is not too dry.

8) Serve with lots of parmesan or romano cheese.


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