Rebecca’s recipes of the week: French onion tart and Venetian pasta sauce

March 2, 2017 by General Administrator

Take a Kilo of Onions . . . .

This week’s recipes are based on onions and anchovies. If you’ve accumulated a collection of Canalside onions over the last months, here is a fine use for them.

Onions Two Ways

1 kg onions
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Peel the onions and cut them into thin slices. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once it is warm, add the onions, the bay leaf and the sprigs of thyme.
Cook over very low heat for about one hour and twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t catch at the bottom of the pan, but it doesn’t need a lot of attention. It is ready when the sliced onions have been transformed into a soft, tender, oniony mass. Remove and discard the bay leaf and the sprigs of thyme.

Now you have a choice: would you like to make a FRENCH ONION TART or an VENETIAN PASTA SAUCE?

French Onion Tart (Pissaladière)

your cooked onions
1 pinch powdered cloves
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 21-cm partially-baked pastry case (home-made or bought)
16 black olives
8 anchovy fillets (you can omit these if you prefer; in that case use more olives)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Mix the cloves, salt and pepper into your cooked onions. Spread them into the pastry case and arrange the olives and anchovies (if you’re using them) over the top in a nice pattern. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until it’s bubbling hot. Take it out of the oven, let it cool a little, and eat. It’s good cold too.

(Recipe adapted from Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.)

Pasta with Onions and Anchovies (Bigoli in Salsa)

your cooked onions
1-2 tins of anchovies (to taste)
1 packet of pasta of the spaghetti-type (spaghetti, bucatini or, ideally bigoli)
freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Drain the anchovies and rinse them to remove any excess salt. Chop the anchovies into small pieces and mix them into the hot, cooked onions. Give the whole thing a good mash to ensure that the anchovies are thoroughly incorporated into the onion sauce.

Cook the pasta to your taste and drain, MAKING SURE TO SAVE A CUP OF THE COOKING WATER.

Mix the cooked pasta with the hot onion-anchovy sauce and add some of the saved cooking water to give the dish the consistency you like. You will probably not need to use all the water. Season with freshly-ground black pepper.

Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve.

(Recipe courtesy of Chiara Croff.)

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