This simple, flavorful bowl of spaghetti starts off in the same way a French onion soup does: with lots of onions. Instead of spending the better part of an hour getting cooked down in a skillet to get the same sweet-savory depth, these onions get kissed with umami-rich miso to achieve big flavor fast. The miso-caramelized onions melt into the stock, resulting in a silky sauce that coats every inch of the pasta. We love spaghetti for this, but any long noodle will work just fine.
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Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add 2 large onions, thinly sliced; season with kosher salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and brown around the edges, 10–14 minutes.
Add 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, to skillet with onions and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 Tbsp. white miso and cook, stirring constantly, until browned and beginning to stick to bottom of pan, 1–2 minutes. Pour in 1 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth or water, scraping up any browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, and cook, stirring, until miso is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Season generously with freshly ground pepper. Reduce heat to low and keep onion mixture warm until pasta is ready.
Meanwhile, cook 12 oz. spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions.
Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet (a little water coming along is okay). Increase heat to medium and add 2½ oz. Parmesan, finely grated, remaining 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often and adding more pasta cooking liquid by ¼-cupful as needed, until cheese is melted and sauce clings to pasta, about 2 minutes.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with ¼ cup 1½"-long chives and more finely grated Parmesan; season with pepper.
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Answers the question, what if french onion soup were pasta? Cooked the onions for ~25 minutes so they were closer to caramelized. Perfect comfort food, it was a huge hit in my house.
San Francisco, CA
Quick and easy recipe - just make sure to leave some extra time for the onions to really start caramelizing. We added some spicy Italian sausage and it was absolutely delicious.
Fixed exactly as directed. Delicious. So easy to make. A keeper!
It had very good flavor. Surprising depth for a quick dish! Had to use green onions instead of chives and added a little pecorino in addition to parmesan.
Made this last night and it's delicious. Next time I might double the onions just because they are delicious. Used red miso because fresh direct can't keep white miso in stock in NYC and it worked just as well. My neighbor and I wolfed it down.
Simply awesome. Company worthy. Will make this pasta again.
Jane Doe 54
Delicious! Enjoyed making it so much! Had some freshly picked shitakes I had to add.
Thank you for this seemingly simple, cozy, mouthwatering recipe! And I can’t wait to try the trick of using miso to express caramelize onions- I think that’s genius!
Locust Valley, NY
Did you say “very al dente”? Where is your editor.