Neapolitan baked onions

Neapolitan baked onions

The summer holidays are over, the weather has turned stormy and white nectarines have started to taste a little woolly and not as sweet. It’s time for some autumnal recipes and this baked onion recipe ‘Cipolle di Napoli’ from Ada Boni’s Regional Italian Cooking is just the ticket. 

You’ll need a sweet fortified wine of some description such as marsala or sherry. I think port might also work, but I used vin santo. It’s not an exact recipe – how many onions you’ll will depend on your chosen baking dish and their size. I used a deep small Le Creuset casserole with a lid, which fit 10 onions, each weighing roughly 80g – about the same diameter of an ordinary tomato. Try and make sure the onions are all the same size to ensure even cooking.

10 onions

a wine glass of olive oil

10 whole cloves, bay leaf , a sprig of thyme

salt, pepper

2 wine glasses of vin santo or other sweet wine

To serve:

1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.

Remove the outer skins of the onions, keeping enough of the root base so the onion stays whole. Put a clove in the top of each onion and snugly place them in a casserole. Pour over the oil, tuck in the bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about an hour.

Once the onions are soft but not collapsed, pour over the wine and put the casserole back into the oven without the lid. Continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced to a near syrup consistency.

To serve, sprinkle over the capers and the parsley.