Broccoli with Caramelized Pearl Onions Pasta

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz pearl onions*
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
to serve: 14-16 oz hot short pasta (like penne)
parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in a large pan and add the garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper and pearl onions. Saute until the onions are starting to caramelize, then saute in the mushrooms for about 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook until almost tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with pasta.

*I don’t normally use frozen onions but the thought of peeling dozens of pearl onions repells me. The frozen ones work just as well in this dish, I just defrosted them about halfway before cooking.

My thoughts:

This is one of those “use up what we have on hand” recipes that really turned out well. I swear that bag of pearl onions moved with us when we bought house house in July of 2005. They were still good and they caramelized like a dream.

As a side note: I’ve been wanting to try Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, which has three times the fiber of regular pasta and as much calcium as an eight-ounce glass of milk per serving, so I used that instead of my usual Barilla. And you know what? It really did taste and have the texture of regular pasta. I wish it came in more shapes though, I only have so many uses for spagetti and penne.


  1. What a gorgeous vegetarian meal this will make!

  2. Ooh, that looks delicious. Nice use of the leftovers indeed–a nice one to serve for guests too!

  3. Carmelized onions are fabulous! This pasta looks great – healthy and full of flavor…yum!

  4. You know what’s strange? Just as I was reading this post, an ad for Ronzoni came on my TV!

    It was great to see you on Saturday – we had so much fun!

  5. Pearl onions last 3 years?! That’s remarkable.

  6. That looks absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Americas Test Kitchen did not like Rozini pastas in general. I’m glad someone else has an opinion because I’ve not bought it for that reason.

    Pearl onions are always frozen for me…. unless absolutly necessary.

  8. Thanks for the reply about the PB.

    And for the tip about the pasta. I recently saw that, but didn’t pick any up because I wanted orzo.