Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Baked, stuffed onions are a favourite in Sicily during the Giarratana onion season and I used the largest ones I could find for this recipe.  The ragù with dried apricots and almonds is my own invention because I wanted to do something different, so all you Sicilians who are shocked by the mix of "sweet and savoury" had better look away now!

First, clean, trim and peel 6 large, flattish onions and then put them in simmering, salted water for 20 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.  Lift them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and let them dry on kitchen paper on a plate.

Heat the oven to 170 C while you make the ragù.  These quantities are enough to fill the 6 large onions and to have some ragù left to put around them:

4 tablesp olive oil + extra for drizzling
200 gr mixed, minced meat [typically pork and beef in Sicily]
200 gr pasta di salame [sausage mince]
125 gr mushrooms, chopped
6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
125 ml white wine
100 gr chopped almonds
100 gr dried apricots, chopped
coarse seasalt and black pepper
mint leaves to garnish

Brown all the meat in the 4 tablesp olive oil and add the mushrooms. Stir well, then add the wine, chopped almonds, chopped mint and apricots. Season the mixture, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 mins.

Meanwhile, scoop out the centre of the onions as best you can. [I used a small knife and a teaspoon.] Oil a glass or ceramic oven dish and place the onions in it. Now fill them with the ragù and spoon the remaining ragù around them. Drizzle more olive oil over the contents of the dish and bake for about 30 mins. Garnish with more mint leaves.

Buon appetito!


Claude said...

What an original, tempting dish! And just in time for my shopping tomorrow, and son's Friday visit. I love to surprise him with your always delicious recipes. Merci de tout coeur, Welshcakes!

Lee said...

That sounds very tasty, Pat. Cooked onions are the blending of flavours would work well, to my mind and taste buds.

Rowena said...

Delightful! Will have to give this a try as we do love sweet and savory flavors. The aroma must be wonderful.

Rosaria Williams said...

This is so clever!

I too invent a whole lot of dishes, blending and bending all expectations. When I lived in Italy, however, it was a no-no to change anything passed down through generations. Is it because we have been exposed to so many new tastes and foods?

Whispering Walls said...

The stuffing sounds good but the idea of filling onions is eye watering!

Gledwood said...

When they're baked do they lose some of their onioneyness? Otherwise they'd be a bit "potent" for me...

Anyway I'm just here to say hi to you and Simi... Hope all's fine... Take care


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Claude. I do hope the dish turns out well for you and your son. De rien, chère amie. Thanks, Lee. A vote of confidence from you means a lot. Thank you, Rowena. And from you, too! Thanks, Rosaria. Yes, I have friends here who won't try anything new but I do think the TV chefs are beginning to change that attitude. Hi, WW. It's the peeling that does it. Once they have been simmered, it's OK! Hi, Gleds. the onions become soft and sweet once cooked like this.


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