3 months into quarantine and I’m just now getting around to posting an easy pantry recipe. This pasta dish has become a weekly occurrence in my house. I can’t get over the awesome flavor combination of caramelized onion and sun-dried tomato.
Why Should I Make This?
Because it’s delicious and you most likely are at home and have nothing better to do! Jokes aside, this pasta is packed with flavor and has many staple ingredients. I love that this dish doesn’t need a tomato sauce. Not only is this great for quarantine, it’s perfect for summer because it’s not heavy. This recipe is fresh and tangy because of the capers and lemon juice, while also satiating because of the white beans.
- Pasta of your choice (I used rigatoni).
- Sun-dried tomatoes (in a jar).
- Spinach or arugula.
- Garlic (fresh or already minced).
- White beans (cannellini beans or great northern beans).
- Olive oil.
- Kosher salt.
- Black pepper.
- A lemon.
- A stockpot or saucepan for boiling pasta.
- Frying pan for the onion/sun-dried tomato mixture.
- Tongs and a slotted spoon (or any preferred kitchen utensils).
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How Do I Make This?
So this is a two-pot meal. Essentially, you just need to prepare the pasta and the white bean mixture. Keep it stupid simple. The only thing that will mess up this recipe is not salting the pasta water The only time you wouldn’t salt your water is if your doctor tells you to avoid sodium. My philosophy, along with many other cooks, is to season at each stage. Simply adding salt at the end won’t give you the same result and the dish will fall flat.
To give you a quick how-two…I cook the pasta according to the package instructions. I reserve some pasta water just in case I need more flavor for the white bean mixture. The other crucial piece of this recipe is properly caramelizing the onions. They need to be brown, but not burnt. The best practice for caramelizing onions is to cook them over a low heat with olive oil or butter. Then, deglaze the pan with water when necessary. You’ll have to use your cooking instincts because there isn’t a specific amount of time or exact oil measurements I can give you.
When the onions are nearly caramelized, that’s when I add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. I cook this for a few minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. I save the capers and arugula for the end.
Additional lemon juice, olive oil, and salt can be incorporated right before serving. This is best served warm, but can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Olives can be substituted for capers or you can leave it out altogether. Garbanzo beans can replace white beans. Feel free to personalize this dish!
Caramelized Onion + Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- 8 oz whole wheat rigatoni.
- 1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced.
- 1 tbsp minced garlic.
- 6 oz sun-dried tomatoes in a jar.
- 1-2 cups spinach or arugula.
- 15 oz white beans.
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegan butter.
- 1 heaping tbsp kosher salt for the pasta water.
- 1/4 tsp paprika.
- Pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Black pepper to taste.
- 1 tbsp capers.
- Juice from 1/2 lemon.
- Salt the pasta water and boil pasta according to package instructions. It should take between 8-10 minutes.
- Preheat a skillet or fry pan and add oil or vegan butter. Place the onions in the pan and caramelize over low/medium heat. Deglaze the pan with water as needed (you only need a few tablespoons to do this).
- When the onions are brown, add the garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the onion mixture. Incorporate spinach or arugula into the mixture and cook until wilted.
- Stir in the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, capers, and lemon juice. Season to taste!
- Eat immediately!