French Onion Pasta Gratin

Cooking time
Serves2 people
French Onion Pasta Gratin

Lots of onions to use up? Turn them into this luxurious pasta gratin. Inspired by French onion soup, it's made with onions that have been caramelised till they're soft, sweet and sticky. Stirred with double cream. Flavoured with bay, thyme and mustard. And enriched with Gruyère cheese. This indulgent pasta dish is a perfect veg-led treat for two.


  • 450g onions
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A handful of thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 100g Gruyère cheese
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150ml hot beef stock
  • 200g fresh orecchiette pasta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 80 mins

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1. Peel and finely slice the onions. Melt the butter in a deep frying pan over a low heat. Add the oil and onions. Drop in the bay leaf and 2-3 thyme sprigs. Season. Pop a lid on the pan. Very gently cook the onions for 20 mins, stirring every 5-10 mins, till soft.
2. Take the lid off the pan. Gently cook the onions for 40 mins, stirring every 5-10 mins, till the onions are well browned, sticky and caramelised. If they start to dry out, add an extra knob of butter and a ladleful of water.
3. Meanwhile, peel and crush the garlic. Coarsely grate the Gruyère. Pick the leaves off 1 thyme sprig. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
4. Lift the bay and thyme out of the onions. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the garlic. Fry, stirring often, for 2 mins till aromatic. Pour in the wine. Bring to a bubble. Simmer for 2-3 mins till reduced by half.
5. Stir in the flour. Add the mustard. Pour in the beef stock. Bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 mins till the stock has reduced by half and the sauce has thickened.
6. Add the orecchiette to the pan of boiling water. Simmer for 4-5 mins till tender but still with a little bite. Drain well. Preheat your grill to high.
7. Stir the cream and half the Gruyère into the onions. Stir in the pasta. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the pasta and sauce into an ovenproof dish. Scatter the breadcrumbs and remaining Gruyère over the top. Grill for 3-4 mins till golden and bubbling.
8. Let the gratin rest for 2-3 mins. Serve garnished with the thyme leaves you reserved earlier. Serve with a peppery green salad on the side.
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