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Tagliatelle with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Herbs*

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 medium to large onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
About 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, minced
1/2 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped, or a blend of basil, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme
5 whole scallions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound tagliatelle pasta, cooked "al dente" and drained
About 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cover, lower heat to low and cook about 30 minutes, or until soft and clear. Uncover and continue cooking slowly until onions are golden. Add the garlic and cook over low to medium-low about 5 minutes. Add stock, simmer a few minutes and then add the cream.

2. Shortly before serving, add the prosciutto and herbs. Cook only long enough to heat through. Toss with the hot pasta and some of the cheese. Pass remaining cheese separately.

Serves 6 to 8

* The slower you cook onions, the sweeter they become; the faster they are cooked, the more robust they will be.

* The onions could be cooked ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat, then proceed with the recipe.

* If prosciutto is hard to get, use an Italian style salami.

* Tossing fresh herbs with hot pasta keeps all their character intact.Panko, or Japanese-style bread crumbs, are thin and delicate with jagged edges. They give a light, crispy texture to fried foods. Find them in the Asian foods section of supermarkets and at Asian markets. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.

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