Caramelized Onion Pasta

Partly by happenstance and partly by choice, I have been watching two types of shows lately:

  1. British murder mysteries (Midsomer Murder, Poirot, Wallander, etc.)
  2. Service-industry disaster reality (Hotel Hell, Bar Rescue, Kitchen Nightmares, etc.)

These two genres surprisingly feature with relative frequency the same type of “character”: the kept adult-youth. The twenty- or thirty-something who does absolutely nothing to contribute to life or to society, but whose family has more money than sense and some weird sense of duty to support their kith and kin; these characters take Scandinavian cooking courses, and existential philosophy courses, and photography courses–I suppose to prepare themselves to take pictures of lutefisk to prove the nothingness of being.

This really hits home to this late twenty-something as she enters the next stage of her life: living alone in Chicago. My place is under $2 a square foot in a safe(r) neighborhood and I can walk to work. Separately, these are all good things and collectively the first two are impressive. But on the flip side I’ve had to sell my car because it’s too expensive to keep, and I’ve taken on a part-time job in addition to my full-time. Occasionally I feel the gods are taunting me with my “view” of a brick wall and a parking space which of course is perpetually empty because NO ONE CAN AFFORD IT.

But I digress. The previous tenant of my apartment was a frat boy. I’ve got walk through pictures of a paddle on the wall along with Steph Curry and Scarface posters, and there was a distinct yet faint aroma of Axe body spray when I moved in. Due to geography, this frat boy quite likely was a student at the college where I now work. Between the rent rate, the tuition rate, and the fact that the building is not student-dominated I can only conclude that this frat boy was one of the kept adult-youth. How ironic, right? Side note: I’m planning to do a photo collage on the apartment’s journey from frat boy haven to pad of bachelorettehood.

Anyway, my greater point: I’ve now come to the reality that my food budget is about that of a kept adult-youth. Maybe even less. Pasta dishes have always been comfort food for me, and this recipe has so few ingredients it’s undoubtedly affordable. Add to the fact that it doesn’t take long to make and reheats well, and…we’ve got a winner.



  • Olive oil
  • White onion
  • Pasta
  • Salt
  • Greek yogurt
  • Parmesan, or other shreddable cheese.


  1. Slice the white onion. Caramelize it using the olive oil.
  2. Cook the pasta, remembering to add salt to the water. When the pasta is done, keep some of the pasta water!
  3. When you’re ready to “guck it up”, mix together the pasta, pasta water, caramelized onion and some greek yogurt. Garnish with parmesan.20160815_175100

    I should have done a nicer job presenting, but I was too tired to twirl.

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