Caramelised Onion Pasta Sauce Recipe

With all the cheese and mushrooms I’ve been eating recently, I thought it was time to get creative and come up with something new to put on pasta.

I love me some caramelised onions; if you’ve not cooked them before, then you’re basically cooking onions slowly in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar so that their natural sugars caramelise. It takes about half an hour, but as long as you’ve got the heat at the right level and you stir them half way through, you can just leave the onions to do their thing.

I had caramelised onion and rosemary on a pizza once and it went together perfectly, so I thought I’d try it with dish and it did again. Any kind of medium sized pasta shape will work for this, I used Penne, but strozzapreti or fusilli would be just as good. Sprinkle some Parmesan  on top with a couple of sprigs of rosemary and it will look much prettier as well 🙂


Caramelised Onion Pasta Sauce IngredientsCaramelised Onion Pasta Sauce

Caramelised Onion Pasta Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A delicious and comforting vegetarian pasta dish.
  • 4 medium red onions, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 400g medium-sized pasta (penne, fusilli or strozzapreti work well)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (plus extra sprigs to serve)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Parmesan Cheese (or vegetarian alternative) to serve
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan over a low heat.
  2. Add the onions, chopped rosemary, salt and cook for 30 minutes - stirring occasionally - until the onions are lightly caramelised.
  3. Add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, stir and cook for one minute.
  4. Increase the heat to medium, add the chopped tomatoes and paprika, cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions, until al dente.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, serve topped with grated parmesan (to taste) and sprigs of rosemary.

Let me know what you think!


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