French onion soup pasta casserole

An one-pot explosion of comfort and flavour!

I’m convinced this is the dish that’s going to get me through this winter. The addition of slivered beef and pasta to a classic French onion soup base makes for an out of this world, hearty and flavourful meal. Even better, it’s prepared in one pot on the stove, then finished with a quick trip under the broiler. My taste testers were literally speechless while devouring this dish; as soon as they’d just about licked their plates clean, they requested I make it again this week. You can substitute chicken for beef if you like, or omit the meat entirely. If you don’t have a large enough oven-safe pot, simply prepare the dish on the stovetop then transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, add topping and broil. For a more elegant presentation, why not assemble single-serving sized casserole dishes? If you want to go old-school and just make French onion soup, here’s my tried-and-true recipe, upon which this new dish is based.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) onions, sliced *
  • 6 slices of French bread, cut in 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes
  • 1 pound (454 g) beef steak (I used sirloin), in 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons (10 mL) flour
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brandy
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL)Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups (1 L) uncooked fusilli pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated Emmental (Swiss) Cheese

* large Spanish onions typically weigh about 1 lb / 454 g each; I use them for this dish

Method

  • In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and pinch of salt.
  • Cover pan and sauté until onions are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. To caramelize the onions, remove the pan’s lid and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring often, onions begin to take on a golden brown hue (10 – 15 minutes).
  • While onions are cooking, arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet and lightly toast in a 250F oven until just starting to get crunchy. Set aside and let cool.
  • Once onions are caramelized, add sliced beef to pot and cook, stirring often, until beef is cooked (about 3 – 5 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to medium; add flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, wine, brandy, mustard and thyme. Stir to blend well. Dish can be prepared to this point and left to sit at room temperature for up to 3 hours, or refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before ready to serve, bring soup mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, until done (about 20 minutes for fusilli; other pasta shapes may take a different amount of time).
  • Just before pasta is cooked to al dente (just tender), preheat broiler, ensuring the rack is positioned to accommodate the pot.
  • When pasta is al dente, season the broth to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Combine mozzarella and Swiss cheeses in a small bowl.
  • Stir 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese mixture into the pot then top the pasta and soup mixture with prepared bread cubes. Scatter remaining cheese evenly over the bread cubes.
  • Place in the oven and broil just until cheese melts and bread cubes begin to brown.

Serves 6.

 

 

About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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3 Responses to French onion soup pasta casserole

  1. The Hook says:

    Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of soup at this time of the year, although you have to wait for it to cool down before you can consume it and the waiting is torture!

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