Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta Sauce

20190516_143405fgvOne of the side-effects of trying to create a new recipe is that I don’t know how much of an ingredient I might need, and then am left with extra that I need to figure out how to use.  It’s a rough life.

If your Kalamata olives aren’t pre-pitted, a quick smash under a broad knife is all it takes to loosen the pit, and they pop out easily!

(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

20190516_142417A while ago I was putting together the materials to make traditional Romanian cabbage rolls (or Sarmale), which included diced onions for the filling.  I got a little overzealous and cut just a wee bit too much.  Like nearly four cups too much.

20190516_142947At first I kicked around making my French Onion soup, but I just wasn’t into the soup making mood.  But while I waited to figure something out, my middle one was complaining about the onion smell that emanated from the refrigerator every time the door was open.  Eventually an idea started to formulate in my head and it thankfully turned out to be a really tasty pasta dish.  Now I make it on purpose!


Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta Sauce Recipe

  • Difficulty: only cutting the onions will make you cry
  • Print


  • 2 1/2 cups diced white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine, divided in two equal portions
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional, but really adds a good flavor)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. or more ground black pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste (may not be needed due to the saltiness of the anchovies and olives)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 pound (when dry) cooked spaghetti  (less pasta will be creamier as there will be a higher proportion of sauce, but you can prepare more as desired)


In a wide and deep pan on the stove top, put the olive oil and onions.  Turn the heat to high until the onions start to sizzle, then turn the heat down to medium.  Continue to sauté the onions until they are a dark golden brown.  While they are cooking, monitor the heat and add some of the white wine a little at a time, as needed, to keep the onions from scorching.  Don’t use more than the first half of the white wine, though.  This is also the time that would be best for preparing your pasta.

Once the onions are a dark golden brown (like the color of brandy or whiskey), add in the remaining wine, thyme, olives, and anchovies.  Stir together until just heated through, then add the heavy cream.  Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add the sour cream, pepper, and any salt you wish to use, and combine all the contents together.  Cook just long enough to heat the sauce through.  You can taste it at this point to see if you wish to add any more seasoning.

Add your cooked and drained pasta directly to the pan with the sauce, and carefully toss together until the pasta is completely coated with the sauce.  If your pan is not large enough, you can return your pasta to the pot you cooked it in and add the sauce instead, and then toss it all together.  Serve right away.  This tastes great with a sprinkling of parmesan, or even fresh or dried Mizithra cheese.  Enjoy!


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