The Sunday Lunch Chronicles: OnionLand

Our eyes are red and puffy, but our stomachs are full. That, I suppose, is the price you have to pay for a delicious lunch.

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Today, we made a typical Neapolitan dish called pasta alla genoveseThis is a dish that really doesn’t get the international credit it should! Word of the wise: Do NOT confuse this dish with the Ligurian pasta with pesto. Totally not the same thing. Another word of the wise: Prepare this dish on a day when it’s nice enough to open the windows and leave them open ALL DAY.

The genovese sauce is so simple, but really tasty and versatile (I will have to work on formulating a recipe for this!). The gist is that you sautee finely diced onions, carrots and celery in abundant olive oil. Once the vegetables are softened, you throw in various cuts of beef: chuck, little riblets or whatever you have on hand. Let that brown and pour two glasses of red wine. One you add to the beginnings of your genovese, the other is for personal use. (Hehe, see what I did there?!) The crowning touch is a whole big load of thinly sliced white onions. Like, multiple pounds of them. The whole shooting match is simmered for hours until the onions are sweet and the meat is tender.

Well, let me tell you, that lunch hit me like a 50 pound sack of onions. It was delicious, but after a small serving I was KO-ed. Good thing we didn’t plan a meat dish; we kept it simple by eating some of the meat from the sauce instead.

I literally couldn’t eat anything else, so it was good that we didn’t have dessert…ready yet. Instead of buying pastries, we decided to make a sweet bread called dolce di rose. A simple lemon-flavored dough is rolled out thin and spread with creamed butter and sugar. It is then rolled up and cut into pinwheels. Those pinwheels are arranged in a baking dish and the finished product ends up looking like little roses. The great part about this simple dessert is the crunchy, caramelized top and the bottom which is almost syrupy and divine.

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That’s all, folks. I feel like I couldn’t eat another bite of food even if you paid me. Now, I just have to get this onion smell out of the house…

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