This is another example of economical, everyday ingredients being combined to create a deliciously aromatic meal in the time-honoured thrifty Greek tradition. As always, the emphasis is on getting the best balance of flavors from the simplest and healthiest foods.

Penne with Spiced Caramelized Onions [Vegan]






Cooking Time




  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 tablespoons fruity green olive oil
  • 3 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup seedless golden raisins (sultanas)
  • 1 pound penne rigate or pasta tubes
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley or dill, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar, and stir in the ground spices.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet (frying pan) over low heat and cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until really tender and golden brown. Stir in the spice mixture and cook for 1 minute, then add the sugar, vinegar, and raisins, along with 1 cup water. Cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the onions are meltingly tender and sweet, and the liquid has reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.
  4. Gently toss the pasta with the spiced onion mixture and the parsley.
  5. Divide between 4 shallow serving bowls and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.

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Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 606 | Carbs: 89 g | Fat: 20 g | Protein: 16 g | Sodium: 6 mg | Sugar: 16 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.