Onions are used in so many dishes as a base to build background flavour, here there are the star of the show. Long slow cooking brings out their natural sweetness, delivering complex flavour with a limited number of ingredients.


2 large red onions, peeled, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
ΒΌ cup finely grated parmesan
1 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)
200g spaghetti


  1. Heat a medium pan with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat, add the onions and thyme and cook over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until onions are soft and caramelised.
  2. Set onions aside, bring a pot of water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet directions. Set aside, without draining.
  3. Heat a large pan with a drizzle of oil over medium heat, add garlic and tomatoes and cook until they have softened before add onion and using tongs add pasta to the pan along with a small amount of cooking water.
  4. Stir through parmesan, adding additional cooking water if needed to create a light sauce. Season well with black pepper and serve.

Serves 2


  • Reserving the starchy pasta cooking water and combining it with parmesan creates a silky sauce without any extra ingredients. Check seasoning before adding salt as parmesan is naturally very salty.


  • White or brown onions can be used in place of red if not available, however they may need a small amount of sugar to bring out the sweetness
  • Sundried or semi-dried tomatoes can be used in place of fresh cherry tomatoes.
  • Rosemary can be used in place of thyme

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