Cook's Hideout: Caramelized Onion & Leek Pasta Sauce

September 04, 2012

Caramelized Onion & Leek Pasta Sauce

Onions are delicious, but they taste divine once caramelized. The pungent and almost spicy taste of raw onions transforms into silky sweetness once onions are slowly cooked until golden and caramelized. Slow cooking is the key to get the right taste and not end up with burnt onions. 

Caramelized onions are great as topping on pizzas, tarts or even on crackers. Stir some softened cream cheese and sour cream into caramelized onions for an instant dip for chips. 

For today's dish, I used caramelized onions and leeks to make a creamy pasta sauce and the final dish was just so delicious that my pictures (with no natural light), don't do any justice at all. Leeks also come from the same onion family, but have mild onion taste. Here's how I made the dish.

Onion - 1 large, thinly sliced
Leeks - 2 medium, thinly sliced
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Vegetable Stock - ½cup
Heavy Cream - ¼cup
Tomato Paste - 1tbsp
Balsamic Vinegar - 1tbsp
Dried Thyme - 1tsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Arugula or spinach - 1 cup, chopped
Red Pepper flakes - ½tsp (optional)
Parmesan cheese - 2tbsp, grated (optional)
Spaghetti - 8oz. (I used thin whole grain spaghetti)

  • Cook the pasta as per package instructions and set aside.
  • In the meantime, heat 1tbsp olive oil in a saute pan; add onions and leeks and cook on medium flame, stirring occasionally until lightly browned around the edges. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook on medium-low flame until golden brown and caramelized, this will take anywhere between 20-30 minutes.
  • Add the stock and deglaze the pan; add tomato paste and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Slowly stir in heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the mixture thickens just a little bit. Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Turn off the heat and add Arugula/ spinach. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well to combine. Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese (if using).
Let's check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up today for BM# 20.



  1. Filling and comforting for breakfast/dinner!

  2. Love caramelized onions!!!


    Ongoing Event - Coconut

  3. Wowo love this look of this pasta ,

  4. Looks nice, makes me hungry now:)

  5. Very interesting and super flavourful sauce, never prepared sauce with leek, will definitely try this sauce, btw wonderful irresistible platter.

  6. That platter looks delicious and I think it speaks volumes about the deliciousness of the dish.Great sauce..

  7. i have a soft corner for the caramelized almost metamorphosis the onion to some thing out of the world....i liked the combination of flavors especially applied to pasta

  8. this looks so scrumptious and delicious!

  9. This looks so inviting.Love your clicks

  10. Lovely picture Pavani..never tried this..


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