Emmenthaler Cheese and Onion Pasta

This casserole is a take on the best part of French Onion Soup (the so-hot-it-blisters-your-mouth cheese) without the pesky liquid component.

Playing the role of the bread is penne pasta. Onions are still involved.

Here’s what happened.

Got a bunch of onions…


…and sliced them.

All sliced.

Sautéed the onions in butter for a few minutes.

Cooking the onions in butter.

While the onions were cooking, grated a bunch of cheese. This is Emmenthaler and Parmesan.

Grated cheese.

After the onions had cooked for a few minutes, added the milk.

Add the milk (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

And the stock. Not gonna lie, this isn’t vegetable stock, it’s chicken stock.

Add the stock (another whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Got the seasonings into the mix: bay leaves…

Add the bay leaves.

…and salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper.

While that was cooking, chose the pasta and cooked it.

My choice of pasta: penne.

When the onions were done and the pasta was cooked, it was time to assemble.

First the pasta, then the onions were loaded into a casserole dish.

Pasta, tossed with cooked onions.

Then the cheese was added and all that was baked. The recipe calls for grilling, but no. I used a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, then broiled the top for 5 minutes to recreate the so-hot-it-blisters-your-mouth cheese situation.

Topped with cheese.

The finished product.

Out of the oven.

One delicious serving of Emmenthaler Cheese and Onion Pasta.

Emmenthaler Cheese and Onion Pasta.

Emmenthaler Cheese and Onion Pasta
Serves 4

Lightly spiced with bay leaves, this sauce is ideal for preparing a broiler-browned gratin with pasta ribbons of any size. Other Swiss-type cheeses such as Gruyère or Jarlsberg may replace the Emmenthaler, or use slices of mozzarella. If you like, add 1/4 pound cooked ham cut into small dice to the sauce once the liquids have been absorbed.


1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-1/4 pound (600 g) white onions, very thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125mL) milk
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125mL) vegetable broth
1 cup (4 oz/125mL) Emmenthaler cheese
1 lb. pasta


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) butter. Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and the bay leaves. Add the milk and stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquids are absorbed, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, preheat a broiler (griller). Grease a 6 x 12” flameproof dish with the 1 tablespoon butter.

Cook your choice of pasta until al dente. Drain and immediately place in the prepared dish. Spoon the hot onion sauce evenly over top, then top with the cheese.

Place the dish under the broiler and broil (grill) until the top is golden, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


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