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Braised Onion Sauce

(recipe, James Beard)


Long-cooked onions have a naturally sweet taste. This is a substantial sauce, and I like to serve it with a pasta that has body, something like bows or wagon wheels or wide ribbons or macaroni.


  1. ½ lb. unsalted butter
  2. 1½ lb. onions, peeled and sliced (about 6 medium onions)
  3. 1 Tbsp. sugar
  4. ¼ cup Madiera
  5. Grated cheese


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and cook them over medium heat until they are soft and transparent. Stir in the sugar, reduce the heat, and cook very slowly for about 1 hour. Stir in the wine, cook briefly, and pour over a pound of freshly cooked pasta. Sprinkle with grated cheese.