A Classic

I don't intend on this being a food blog, but I spend a lot of my time reading about and watching cooking so I usually have a lot to say about food. Lately, Jeff and I are eating at least 15 meals a week at home, so I'm spending plenty of time in the kitchen trying new recipes and perfecting old ones. This is a recipe that I've been making since Jeff and I first started dating. It's one of my parents' favorites and I like it because I don't have to make a separate trip to the butcher. I believe I originally found it in Cooking Light, but I've been unable to track the original recipe down on the net. It easily serves 4 with leftovers, and even though it takes a little over an hour from start to finish to make, it's pretty low intensity cooking.
Penne with Caramelized Onions & Chicken Sausage

3 large onions sliced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. d
ried thyme
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Black pepper
12 oz. package of italian chicken sausage links (I used Al Fresco brand)
1 lb. Penne pasta
1/2 cup white wine
1-1 1/2 cup chicken broth

It doesn't matter what kind of onions you use for this. Whatever you prefer. I've tried the recipe with every kind and found I prefer the flavor and appearance of red onions. I didn't have 3 large onions this time, so I used 2 large and 2 small. Slice the onions somewhat thinly.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onions to the saucepan. It will seem like an overwhelming amount of onions in the pan, but they will cook down and reduce in size tremendously. Add the kosher salt, thyme and black pepper to taste. Don't go all low-sodium and skimp on salting the onions, the salt helps the onions release their moisture. Toss the onions well in the oil and seasonings. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the onions brown, turn the heat down to medium low. The goal isn't to sear the onions, just soften. Here are the before and after of the onions I cooked tonight.

While the onions cook, slice up the sausage links into 1/2 inch wide chunks and brown in a pan sprayed generously with cooking spray. Once browned, set aside and keep warm. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain. Once the onions have caramelized, increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine. Scrape up any brown bits in the pan. Let the wine reduce for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat back to medium and add the chicken stock. Reduce for 5-8 minutes until you've reached a desired sauce consistency. The more stock you use and the longer you leave it reduce, the more flavor you will achieve. Finally, toss the onion sauce, the sausages and the pasta together and serve immediately.

This recipe allows for a lot personal variation. I encourage you to experiment. Next time I make this I may use red wine to deglaze the pan and beef broth to make it heartier. I hope you enjoy this recipe!


  1. Hey Emily! This recipe looks great - I love to cook as well, so I will be looking forward to any other ecipes you post. Also, of course, news about Marlo. What a cutie! I've added you to my "blogs I'm following" and also my Google Reader. Not sure if you my blog address - if not - is rautenkranz.blogspot.com. I didn't intend for it to be JUST about the kids, but so far that is all I've posted about :) Maybe yours will inspire me to branch out a little more. Hope to see you all soon!

  2. Emily, I love to cook. If I had a stressful day at work, I come home and cook a hearty meal. I love to plan big dinners. This recipe sounds fantastic!!! Thank you for posting it! I'm glad that I'm bored today, and stumbled upon this...