Cook the Book: Caramelized Garlic and Shallot Pasta

Vampires beware: I love garlic in its many wondrous forms—roasted, toasted, sautéed, puréed—you name it, I'll snarf it down. Having never eaten it in its sweet caramelized form, when I saw the recipe for caramelized garlic and shallot pasta from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics, I knew I had to conquer this final frontier of Garlic Paradise. The recipe calls for about three heads of the stuff, but if the idea of that much garlic scares you off, have no fear—as the recipe says, "caramelizing the garlic tends to mellow and sweeten its flavor, so you can use more than you might expect." The cookbook lists the recipe under its "Late-Night Supper for Four" menu, and although I'll happily reek of garlic wherever I go, you may want to make sure whomever you're snuggling up with gets a couple of bites, too—just to level the smelling field.

Cook the Book: Caramelized Garlic and Shallot Pasta

About This Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 15 medium) shallots, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 3 heads), large cloves halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 pound farfalle, rigatoni, or cavatelli
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish


  1. 1

    Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium­low heat. Add the shallots and garlic cloves, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper, and stir to combine. Cook until very soft and golden, about 1 hour, adding water 2 table­spoons at a time if the pan seems dry.

  2. 2

    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and shallots to a bowl, and set aside. Add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Cook, stir­ring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by one-quarter, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, return the garlic and shallots to the pan, and keep warm while cooking the pasta.

  3. 3

    Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Drop the pasta into the boiling water; stir to keep pasta from sticking. Cook until al dente; drain and return to saucepan. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, re­served garlic and shallots, and sauce. Cut basil leaves into thin strips. Divide pasta and sauce among six serving bowls; garnish with the basil and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve hot.


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