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Eat for Eight Bucks: French Onion Pastina Recipe

Eat for Eight Bucks: French Onion Pastina Recipe
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  • Cusine



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound onions , very finely sliced

1 tsp flour

3 1/2 cups beef stock

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 pound acini di pepe, or other very small pasta

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parmesan crisps


Cook onions in oil in a large, deep saucepan, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and a deep brown color, 25-30 minutes. As the onions cook down, they may start to stick to the bottom of the pan; whenever this happens, deglaze with a small quantity of cold water, scraping with wooden spoon to dissolve brown bits. Remove about 1/4 of onions from pan, reserving for garnish. Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm. Sprinkle flour over the onions in the pot, stirring to incorporate. Add beef stock and dried thyme and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, adjust seasoning, and add pasta. Cover pan and simmer, depending on type of pasta, for 6-9 minutes, or until pasta is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir once or twice during cooking to prevent sticking. Remove pasta from heat and stir in shredded Parmesan. Adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, top with reserved onions and Parmesan crisp. Parmesan Crisps Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle a small handful of grated Parmesan into the pan to form a circle about 3 inches in diameter. Cook until cheese is somewhat melted and beginning to take on color, 1-2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently loosen the cheese and flip, cooking for an additional 30 seconds. Place on paper towels to cool, or, for a curved shape, immediately drape over a rolling pin or other cylindrical surface.