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105

Bolognese is (to Italians) a specific dish with a precise ingredient list. You wouldn't put garlic in a chocolate cake, but that's because it probably wouldn't taste nice. Imagine a chocolate cake to which you added coffee. Some people might enjoy the cake, some might not, but assuming it was a cake and had plenty of cocoa and/or chocolate, nobody would say ...


46

Conversationally, "oniony". Everyone will understand that, and tend to say it naturally. In a more serious cooking context, you could also get away with "allium flavor", though likely not in everyday conversation. There are a lot of alliums, including onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks, and chives, so if you refer to the whole group, you're pretty ...


42

Clearly, your flatmate was misinformed. Firstly, Italian cuisine is defined regionally. There are vast differences throughout the country, usually defined by local ingredients and historical influences. However, there are many Italian dishes...from north to south that contain both onion and garlic. It could be true that someone's specific recipe for, ...


42

It's convenience, and actually doubly so: It helps to find the cloves (biting down on a clove is horrible, imho, much more than on a stray peppercorn) and it especially if you are using onions with the skin on helps in keeping the onion together. Not as much as leaving the root plate intact, but at least prevents the papery brown skin from drifting off. If ...


42

The general category for vegetables/herbs (that are not leafy green herbs, or spices) added to a dish for flavor (rather than bulk/texture/nutrition) is "aromatics", and that describes what they are there for: Add some basic aroma to complete the flavor profile. Typically added early and sauteed or sweated with some kind of culinary fat present to bind the ...


40

Their primary purpose is flavor, although (as mentioned by @David Richerby) they can also be used for thickening in some cases. If you don't like them, but other members of your household do, then it becomes a cost-benefit analysis of every dish. If your hatred of onions is visceral, yet other family members would just kind of rather have them than not, not ...


37

This is physics. There's an effect called: "Granular convection" It's a phenomenon where if you have materials of different sizes in a container and vibrate or shake them, that the largest objects will move to the top and the smallest to the bottom. To keep the onion from sinking, you should make the chopped onion pieces bigger relative to the other ...


34

My 2 centesimi (italian for cents) from a very much biased perspective, i.e. trying to push my subjective point of view with supposedly objective criteria. Sugo alla Bolognese, or ragù alla Bolognese is a sauce which is traditionally eaten with tagliatelle or, more generally, egg-based fresh pasta. It is supposed to have a 'rounded' and somewhat sweet taste,...


31

You may need to use a little more oil/butter, but the biggest things are to not get them too hot, and to stir them fairly often. Once they're sizzling that's hot enough. Some cookers will get keep getting hotter for quite a while, so you may need to turn them down preemptively. Heavy pans will do the same but overall tend to make gentle cooking easier. You ...


28

Yes, onions contain sugar, just like most fruit and vegetables. It is not simply a common phrase, it is true caramelization. They have 4.24 g of sugar per 100 g in total (wet weight). For dry weight 40% is sugar. See the USDA nutrient database for more details.


27

While you can do whatever you want to recipes you're following, you should be aware that onions are the backbone of the flavor of many dishes. If the recipe calls for more than a quarter onion or so per serving, and particularly if they are to be browned rather than cooked until translucent, the dish will probably be blander than intended if you leave the ...


24

Leeks can provide some of the same flavors as onions, but the flavors are lower intensity than onions.


23

I don't think the issue here is dicing vs slicing the onions. The reason why the latter appears to present better in this answer is in my opinion because of the size relative to the other ingredients. In the left hand image, the diced onions are much smaller than the tomato and cucumber, whereas the sliced onion on the right is a closer match in size. This ...


21

Ah, One Pot Pasta.... As loads of bloggers, authors and cooks - possibly inspired by Martha Stewart and her team - have confirmed: dumping the pasta, sauce ingredients and a carefully meassured amount of liquid in one pot or pan will give you a "pasta and sauce" dish in ten to fifteen minutes. And it works. Sort of. Your instinct matches my experience: ...


20

Sauteed onions can provide both caramel flavors (from the sugars in the onions) and Maillard reaction compounds, depending on how they are sauteed. Thus onions can supply a range of "umami" flavors for soup which otherwise you need to get through roasting animal bones and other tissue (e.g. brown veal stock). Of course, even beef stocks often add onion as ...


20

Unless he actually canned the sauce (processing the jars in boiling water bath or pressure canner as appropriate) and was working from a trusted recipe, no, this is definitely not safe. It takes processing like this to make canned goods shelf stable. And the recipe is important too; for example if the pH isn't low enough it's not safe to use the boiling ...


20

You can absolutely leave the onions out! Onions are only necessary if you like them. And, no, you don't need to find a substitute. Think about it this way. Recipes are like guides. You can tweak most recipes to your liking. That's one of the reasons you can find so many different recipes for the 'same' dish. The only things that wouldn't be the same are ...


19

Two things control the "sharpness" of onions: variety and age. While certain varieties of onions are sharper than others (i.e. Reds, walla-walls and vidalias are sweeter), any onion which has been in storage too long is going to be sulphurous and sharp-tasting. Since it's January now, that's going to be pretty much all onions. Since onion sharpness comes ...


19

As a child, I used to hate the feel and taste when I conciously bit on a piece of onion (strongest offender: medium-sized chunks, sautéed glassy but still firm). Sometimes that still happens. However, I use onion a lot myself now in cooking. Lots of dishes really need the kind of taste onions can supply; even though that taste may by itself be a bit gross, ...


17

As a onion-lover I suggest using a similar vegetable instead of onions themselves. Try with leek, it has a lighter flavour than onion. Cook it in the same way. Another option would be shallot, which has a stronger presence but is different. In some soups or salads, also dried onion is a viable option, as you can add it directly on the servings. I would ...


17

I found that slices float better and present better. They don't take much longer to cut and you don't need much onion for a salad. Slices on the right Thick slices can be cut to taste. You want some to sink. I like them for a little crunch. They're easier to pick out if anyone doesn't like onion at all. In some cases thin slices might be better, ...


17

You are frying them at too high a temperature. They just need a mild sizzle to properly cook until translucent; even lower if you are caramelizing them. Try putting your dial about halfway between what you are using and off, then adjust as needed.


16

In order to develop browning for a good, deep flavor on the meat, you need a high temperature and a long enough time that having the onions in the pan the entire time would leave them overcooked. Also, the onions would express water, which would lower the temperature to simmer or steam, preventing the beef from browning. For these reasons, it is common to ...


16

Onions contain a good amount of sugar; that is why they brown and burn easily. The sweetness is more than often hidden behind the sharp onion smell and taste. Some onions like the vidalia onion varieties are really sweet. One way to test if an onion will sweeten the tomato sauce would be to prepare two similar batches, one with onion, and one without. ...


15

To clarify a little, there are several ways you can cook onions. You could be trying to get them to turn translucent. In which case, you can cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. This will take somewhere around 5 minutes. Preheating the pan isn't really required (especially if using a non-stick pan). If they start to brown, turn down the heat. You ...


14

Well, you could make your own onion powder. It isn't that difficult. Peel and finely chop your onions. Then, spread the onion pieces out on a tray and heat in a 150°F degree oven or in a food dehydrator until dry. Tip: The onions are dry when you can easily crumble the chopped pieces in your hand. Allow the onions to cool. Then, ...


13

With the exception of dishes with "onion" in their names, more often than not you can omit onion as an ingredient. My advice would be to first try leaving the onion out entirely, see how the dish is. If it is missing something, then experiment with: Onion powder: see how much you can get away with before your audience notices. Garlic: add more to compensate....


13

Normally, people associate slime with "inedible" because some bacterial colonies can build up slime on spoiled food. But there are plants which naturally produce slime, and it is as edible as any other part of the same plant. Slimes are most common in algae, but I have also seen them in other plants such as hyacinth greens, and scallions have it too, ...


13

The perfect solution to you - Use the Indian spice called "Asafoetida" or "Hing". It gives a taste which is very much like Onion and Garlic - In fact, stricter practitioners of Hinduism are not allowed to eat onion and garlic (as supposedly they cause mental agitation). Thus, traditional Hindu (Vedic) cooking uses Asafoetida as a subsitute for onion in ...


13

I agree with moscafj's general answer: there is no pan-Italian "rule" like this in Italian cuisine. It's common to mix the two in many Italian regions, and it's certainly common in other world cuisines. On the other hand, I wouldn't dismiss this story out-of-hand or as some quirk of one crazy roommate. I grew up near an old Italian neighbor, daughter of ...


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