Risotto is a classic Italian rice dish made by cooking a special variety of rice (usually Arborio) in broth, which helps release the starch of the rice, creating a creamy, comforting dish. While I have made my share of risottos, this recipe interested me since it used pasta. I’m not picky….I’ll take my carbs in any variety! This dish was simple yet so flavorful. It takes a little time to constantly stir the pasta while it absorbs the broth. However, it is worth it! Toasting the pasta in the beginning of the recipe gives the dish a nice, nutty flavor. Add in the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the tang of the Gorgonzola cheese and this dish is so flavorful! The Weekend Chef noted that this is a dish that you’d find in a restaurant. I made this dish with vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian. Since my daughter does not like Gorgonzola, I scooped out a portion of the pasta for her prior to adding the crumbled cheese. Serve with a salad and you have a perfect meal!
Risotto-Style Pasta with Caramelized Onions
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, December 2014
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 1/4 cups uncooked acini di pepe pasta (about 8.4 ounces)
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock, divided
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion reducing heat to low, and cook 20 minutes or until onion is light brown, creamy, and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Once caramelized, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pasta to the saucepan cooking 5 minutes or until the pasta is a nice toasty color, stirring constantly. Add the onion and 1 cup stock, stirring frequently until the stock is absorbed. Once the pasta absorbs the stock, add the wine. Continue adding the rest of the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion is absorbed before adding the next. Test the pasta, as you want it to be al dente. When it’s done, stir in salt, pepper and dried thyme. Remove from the heat and add the crumbled Gorgonzola cheese; stirring gently to mostly melt the cheese, but allowing for some chunks. Serve immediately and enjoy!