Main Dishes

Penne with Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce

I think this is my new favorite pasta dish.  I’m a big fan of cream sauces on pasta…it’s definitely my guilty pleasure. In fact, I think my last meal (not to be morbid) would involve pasta in a cream sauce. Actually, it would be this exact pasta.

I LOVE caramelized onions, and in this dish they work beautifully with the cream sauce by adding delicious flavor and a hint of sweetness to the sauce. I love the addition of the white wine in this recipe (seriously try it), but if do not have white wine on hand, you can always substitute chicken broth in a pinch.


So this recipe is my new favorite… let’s see if it becomes yours!


I think it will. 🙂





2 large sweet onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups half and half
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
½ cup frozen peas
1 lb. penne (or whatever type of pasta you like)





1. Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring to coat all of the onions with the butter and oil. Stir in the garlic and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and caramelized.


2. Sprinkle the sugar, salt, pepper, and flour over the onions and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the wine and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the half and half and cook just until the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce for about 5-6 minutes or until it has thickened. 


3. Stir about half of the Parmesan cheese into the sauce until it is completely melted, then stir in the nutmeg and frozen peas. Simmer another minute.


4. While the sauce is cooking, make the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions in a pot of salted water. Cook the pasta just to al dente (with a bit of a bite to it)…try not to overcook it! 

No picture of this step…you know what to do! 🙂


5. Combine the pasta with the sauce in a large pot. Stir in the rest of the Parmesan cheese and simmer on low for one minute, stirring constantly, to allow the sauce to marry with the pasta.



Serve the pasta with extra Parmesan cheese! 





1 thought on “Penne with Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce”

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