This French onion pasta is internet famous — and lives up to the hype

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French Onion Pasta

Complete time:1 hour

Servings:2 to 4 (makes about 3 1/2 cups)

Complete time:1 hour

Servings:2 to 4 (makes about 3 1/2 cups)


Carolyn Wong, who goes by @carolbeecooks on TikTok, is comparatively new to the world of meals running a blog. It was a pastime she picked up in the course of the pandemic as an outgrowth of her love of cooking and her need to share that with others.

Her type embraces spontaneity. “On the whole, I simply type of like utilizing substances I’ve readily available, since I simply do it for enjoyable,” Wong mentioned in a telephone interview from her dwelling in Columbus, Ohio. “Loads of instances I don’t actually do lots of planning issues out. I simply type of consider issues all through the day and see what I’ve to attempt to get some inspiration utilizing substances I like.” In January 2022, after not too long ago having fun with do-it-yourself French onion soup, she was impressed to make a one-pot French onion pasta — “I make lots of pasta dishes normally,” Wong mentioned — and a viral recipe was born.

However Wong acknowledges she wasn’t the primary to give you the thought. “There’s undoubtedly those that have considered it earlier than me, years and years in the past, and I’ve seen lots of people do it since,” she mentioned.

A kind of individuals is Pleasure Wilson, a.okay.a. Joy the Baker, who shared a version of the dish on her blog back in 2014. “French onion is one in all my favourite taste profiles simply because it feels so luxurious, but it surely’s truly fairly attainable with easy substances that I often have in my pantry,” Wilson instructed me. She was impressed to create the dish when she thought of “how one can get essentially the most luxurious out of a field of pasta and a few onions.” Whereas some would possibly really feel a way of territorialism over their creation, as a veteran of the running a blog world, Wilson acknowledges that’s not how issues work within the recipe sphere. “I by no means maintain on to it so tight as mine, as a result of I’m placing it out on this planet for it to be everybody’s.”

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Wilson mentioned her recipe was well-liked when she initially posted it and continues to get consideration each time she reshares it. And now, with Wong’s social media movies, the dish is gaining much more traction. “It’s fairly cool that an entire new TikTok era is discovering these sorts of dishes and getting enthusiastic about it,” she mentioned. “I really feel like this system is a gateway for individuals who suppose that they don’t understand how or don’t prefer to prepare dinner to really feel chef-y.”

Wong’s authentic video from early 2022 has garnered greater than 1 million views on TikTok — a veritable success. However when she shared it once more final month, this time capitalizing on a pattern by which individuals listing three causes they gained’t do one thing (with the entire causes left clean), Wong’s video took off once more to even higher heights. “That video takes like 2 seconds to make after which it has like 17 million views between Instagram and TikTok,” Wong mentioned.

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It’s at all times fascinating to see which recipes achieve essentially the most traction on social media. With some, corresponding to baked feta pasta, it’s clear as day why they grow to be so well-liked. Others, such because the tortilla “hack” that’s mainly a folded quesadilla, required a bit extra convincing for me to leap on the bandwagon. And few, corresponding to pasta chips, nonetheless make zero sense to me. French onion pasta squarely falls into the primary class. Why? Nicely, it’s a confluence of things.

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“I feel individuals like issues which can be easy they usually really feel like they will strategy at dwelling,” Wong mentioned. Timing additionally performs a task, as these chilly climate months are affectionately often known as soup season to some, and drawing on a basic soup is an prompt pull. Combining that with a one-pot pasta ratchets the dish’s intrigue stage up a notch due to the benefit and, nicely, pasta. And it’s each saucy and tacky, giving movies of this creation an intense visible attraction for viewers.

“I feel it’s so interesting as a result of it’s actually easy and it’s stuff you can go searching your kitchen and discover with out having to go to the grocery retailer for essentially the most half,” Wilson mentioned. “It’s pretty adaptable and it simply is a quite simple technique to get lots of consolation and taste out of tremendous easy substances. And it solely makes use of one pot, so it’s gentle on dishes, too.”

Wong mentioned she “was actually simply utilizing stuff that [she] had readily available,” when she first made it. “I didn’t purchase particular substances for it, so I really feel like individuals shouldn’t be scared to experiment and see the way it seems.” So experiment I did.

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I adopted Wong’s recipe in my first move, and whereas it was good, I assumed it might higher evoke the supply materials. The very first thing I did was enhance the quantity of onions, as a result of if we’re going to name one thing French onion pasta, then I wish to be smacked within the face with onion taste. I additionally determined to make use of port to deglaze the pan as an alternative of white wine for the caramel undertones port typically has, which counterpoint the sauteed onions. Different small tweaks I made embrace tying the thyme sprigs with twine to make them simpler to fish out later and utilizing rooster stock or broth as an alternative of beef for a cleaner taste that lets the onions shine via extra. Lastly, whereas parmesan cheese is undoubtedly extra more likely to be in a house prepare dinner’s fridge at any given time, I missed the distinct taste profile of Gruyere cheese that usually accompanies the soup.

The result’s a carby, saucy, tacky, oniony bowl of pasta that lives as much as the hype and my expectations. Give this recipe a strive, and I’m positive it would do the identical for you. Or, as Wong and Wilson counsel, use it as a blueprint to utilize the substances you have already got readily available for an expensive pasta that’s simply inside attain.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for as much as 4 days.

NOTE: The pasta will proceed to soak up liquid because it sits, so it’s okay whether it is nonetheless saucy.

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions (1 pound), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon wonderful salt, plus extra to style
  • 1/4 cup tawny port (could substitute madeira, sherry, dry vermouth, crimson wine, or further inventory or broth)
  • 3 cups rooster or vegetable inventory or broth, ideally unsalted or reduced-sodium, if store-bought
  • 8 ounces quick dry pasta, corresponding to rigatoni, fusilli or orecchiette
  • 5 sprigs recent thyme, tied along with twine, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper, plus extra to style
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) finely shredded Gruyere cheese, plus extra for serving

In a big pot or Dutch oven over medium warmth, soften the butter. Add the onions and salt, stir, cowl and prepare dinner for five minutes. Uncover and prepare dinner, stirring often, till the onions are properly browned in spots and the underside of the pot is roofed with stuck-on bits, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the port to deglaze by scraping up any browned bits caught to the underside of the pot.

Add the inventory or broth, pasta, thyme and pepper, cowl partially and enhance the warmth to deliver to a boil. Cook dinner, stirring often and adjusting the warmth as wanted to maintain the combination at a mild, not rolling, boil, till the pasta is al dente and the liquid has decreased to coat the pasta, 15 to twenty minutes (see NOTE). Take away from the warmth, discard the thyme, and stir within the cheese till melted. Style, and season with extra salt and/or pepper, if wanted.

Divide amongst bowls, sprinkle with extra cheese and recent thyme leaves, if desired, and serve.

Per serving (scant 1 cup), based mostly on 4

Energy: 373; Complete Fats: 2 g; Saturated Fats: 7 g; Ldl cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 401 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 15 g

This evaluation is an estimate based mostly on obtainable substances and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Recipe from employees author Aaron Hutcherson.

Examined by Aaron Hutcherson; electronic mail inquiries to

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