A little sweet, a little spicy, this caramelized onion pasta with kale is a quick, easy, ultra flavorful pasta recipe.
Even though this pasta with kale recipe is borderline effortless, the payoff is intense flavors thanks to the caramelization of red onions. You’ll spend the first thirty minutes of this recipe occasionally stirring sliced red onions on low heat, but worry not, it comes together super quick after that part is done!
How to Make this Caramelized Onion Pasta with Kale:
First, you’re going to caramelize! Thinly slice two red onions and 5 cloves of garlic. Melt butter and a little oil over low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook low and slow for about 30-35 minutes until they caramelize. You can add a touch of sugar at the end to help finish off the caramelization process. You will add a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper to get a little heat in the dish.
After the onions have caramelized, remove them from the pot and set aside. You’ll deglaze the pot with white wine and a little lemon juice. Add a little more butter to thicken the sauce.
From there, it’s just cooking your kale leaves, adding the onions back in, and tossing the cooked pasta with the sauce. Make sure you add a few scoops of the pasta cooking water so you end up with glossy, velvety pasta!
That’s it! It’s such a simple yet delicious recipe.
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Caramelized Onion Pasta with Kale
- Heavy-bottomed pot
- Large pot
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 red onions peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 bunch lacinato kale about ½ pound, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
- 12 ounces fresh linguine or dry; adjust cook time as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Pinch of sugar optional
Caramelize the Red Onions:
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. Once melted, add the sliced red onions and sliced garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes until the onions are caramelized and jammy. Do not overcook them. Season with a pinch of sugar (optional), salt, pepper, and a big pinch of crushed red pepper. Transfer the onions to a bowl and leave the pot on low heat.
Meanwhile, Cook the Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook according to package instructions. Reserve 2/3 cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Finish the Sauce:
- Turn the pot used to cook the onions to medium heat. Add white wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into the sauce and boil for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Add the kale to the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted.
- Add the caramelized onions to the pot along with the cooked pasta and reserved pasta cooking water. Toss to coat until the pasta is glossy. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the cooked pasta between plates. Enjoy!