Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

Monday, January 11, 2016

At least once a week we have a "shop-the-fridge" night. Make whatever you can with what we have before it expires (or, in the case of last week's guacamole, even if it's expired). But between travel, the flu, holidays and Making a Murderer, the kitchen has been neglected and the only thing we could shop from the fridge on Friday night was a beer, butter and mustard (At least there was a beer...). So I made a loooooong grocery list with ingredients to make simple dinners this week, and loved this pasta with yogurt and caramelized onions last night. It's a genius recipe. Take one thing you like (yogurt) and put it on another thing you like (pasta). Plus, the contrast between the caramel-ly sweetness of the onions and the tangy yogurt... so good. There will be no expired leftovers.

Ingredients (serves six):
* Quick note on ingredients: don't be cheap. Since the recipe only requires a few, quality matters. I wasn't thrilled to be spending $12 on a tub of yogurt Saturday morning but was applauding myself for it Sunday night. 

5 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups coarsely chopped onions
Sea salt
1 pound tagliatelle or other fresh pasta
2 cups thick Greek-style yogurt (If not using thick Greek yogurt, line a colander with cheesecloth and set over a bowl or in the sink. Add the yogurt and let drain for two hours before proceeding with step 1)
1 cup coarsely grated Kefalotyri cheese or Pecorino Romano

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently and seasoning with salt to taste as you go, until the onions are soft and golden brown. The original recipe says this will take 20-30 minutes, I find caramelizing onions takes about 45.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. As the water heats, add enough salt so you can taste it. Add the pasta and cook until soft, not al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Combine the yogurt with 1/4 cup cooking water and mix well. Add more of the reserved pasta water as needed to get the sauce to your desired thickness. Drain the pasta and toss with the yogurt mixture.

Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled generously with cheese and topped with caramelized onions and their juices.

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