Creamy Penne Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

This satisfying pasta dish is loaded with flavor and texture. It's on the table in 30 minutes, making it a good weeknight meal option. We like to serve this with a simple side salad. This recipe makes 4 servings.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
4 ounces ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces toasted pine nuts (*see cook's note)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated parmesan, for serving

Cook pasta in salted water to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet to medium on the stove top. Add onions and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are fragrant and turn a caramel color. Salt the last few minutes of cooking.

Once onions are caramelized, add pasta, pasta water, pine nuts and ricotta to the pan; fold gently to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning, garnish with parmesan and serve immediately.

*Cook's note: the easiest way to toast pine nuts is on the stove top. Heat a small skillet to medium-low and add pine nuts. Cook, stirring every 30 seconds, until the nuts become fragrant and slightly brown. Do not walk away from the nuts while you're toasting them -- they burn quickly. Once toasted, remove from heat immediately. The entire process should take 3-4 minutes.