Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook Preparation time: About 1 -1/4 hours (most of it cooking time)
Yield: About 4 servings

Sweet caramelized onions are a good foil for the edgy bitterness of arugula.

  • The proportions of ingredients in this delicious recipe are somewhat flexible. You can play with the amounts of onions and arugula, and you can also add other leafy greens that blend well with arugula (spinach comes to mind) and make this an even greener dish. When arugula is abundant at the produce market and it looks really good, I sometimes like to double the amount. It's intense!
  • The degree to which you cook the onions is also negotiable. The minimum amount of time they'll need to sweeten up is about 25 minutes, but you can cook them for up to an hour if you like them sublime and you have the time. (I didn't mean that to rhyme!)
  • Olive oil and butter combine to make a complex backdrop for caramelized onions. However, if you prefer not to use butter, you can use all olive oil.
  • The alcoholic content of the wine will dissipate with cooking. If you prefer not to use wine, you can use a good-flavored vegetable broth, like Imagine brand.
  • You can create your own variations on this recipe. Try adding some crumbled goat cheese to the sauce at the very end of the cooking.
  • You can make the sauce through Step 3 up to a day ahead.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 6 large onions (about 6 to 8 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup white wine or vegetable broth
1 medium bunch arugula, stems trimmed and leaves chopped
3/4 pound pasta (a short, shapely variety, like penne or fusilli)
1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic Drizzle (optional) - recipe follows

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sautÚ pan and melt in the butter.
  • Add the onions to the pan, and sautÚ over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add salt, lower the heat, and continue to cook for at least another 10 minutes (and up to an hour for a really sweet result!)
  • When the onions are done to your liking, add the wine or broth, turn the heat back up to medium and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. The liquid will largely get absorbed/evaporate. At this point the sauce can be set aside until you are ready to cook the pasta.
  • When you are ready to cook the pasta, put up the pasta water and return the sauce to the heat. (Make sure the sauce is in a large enough pan to accommodate the pasta.) While the pasta cooks, and after the onions are hot again, add the arugula to the onions and stir it in. Let it cook in the onions for only about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir briefly in the pan before serving. Serve hot or warm, topped with parmesan, pine nuts, and balsamic drizzle.


Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
Preparation time: 30 minutes (1 minutes of work)
Yield: 1/2 cup (easily multiplied)

Balsamic vinegar, that musty, dark, aged-in-wood variety many of us have fallen in love with, makes a wonderful syrup when cooked down to about less than half its volume. You can drizzle this amazing stuff over more foods than you'd ever imagine„everything from roasted vegetables and bean soups to potato dishes and Pizzettas. It's even great on pancakes, fruit, and frozen desserts. This might just be the most versatile one-ingredient sauce ever.

  • You don't need to use an expensive brand of vinegar for this recipe. In fact, the ordinary, more moderately priced supermarket varieties work the best.
  • Store Balsamic Drizzle in a covered container in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Theoretically it will keep forever, but undoubtedly you will use it up sooner than that.

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar

  1. Place the vinegar in a shallow pan and heat just to boiling. (You might want to open your kitchen windows„this gives off strong fumes!)
  • Turn the heat way down, and simmer uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced in volume by about two-thirds.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly, and store indefinitely at room temperature.

NOTE: It if becomes too thick as it sits around, you can loosen it up by zapping it briefly in a microwave.