On a cold autumn night, a hot bowl of pasta can be just the thing to warm the body and comfort the soul. With caramelized onion, golden, toasted pine nuts and golden raisins, this pasta dish is a delightful combination of sweet and savory. My five-year-old is a rather picky eater (something I never thought I would raise) and I felt I had received the highest compliment when she said, “This is the best pasta ever, Mommy!”

This dish is simple to prepare, yet feels like something that’s a bit special and fancy. At the same time, all of the ingredients are items that may be kept on hand in the pantry; so handy for nights when dinner gets left to the last minute, but something really yummy is called for.

On cooking pasta: I read once that pasta water should be as salty as the Mediterranean. I’ve found this to be noteworthy advice. I usually cook pasta in really salty water, using a couple of tablespoons of sea salt, and then go very light on the salt in the sauce. This method has served me well.

Golden Butterfly Pasta

  • Yield: four hearty bowls
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in water
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 ounces organic Farfalle pasta


  1. Set the golden raisins to soak in water.
  2. Set salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente, while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Pour olive oil into a large pan and set to medium heat.
  4. Finely chop onion and add to pan, with olive oil.
  5. Roughly chop pine nuts and drained golden raisins.
  6. Continue cooking and stirring onion until it begins to caramelize.
  7. Add pine nuts and raisins to the sauté pan.
  8. Add a dash of salt and pepper and stir frequently, cooking until pine nuts are satisfactorily toasted.
  9. Incorporate the drained, cooked pasta into the sauté pan, combining all ingredients and ensuring that all of the pasta is sufficiently coated in olive oil.
  10. Enjoy!

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