Aired September 15, 2011
3 tablespoons butter
3 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 large fresh bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 pound extra-wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyre cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 cups watercress leaves, loosely packed (2 bunches)
Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle of honey
Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, in a skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay, then stir frequently and caramelize, 25-30 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine, stir until evaporated then add stock. Bring to a bubble then reduce heat to low.
When onions are very soft but still cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt water and add pasta. Undercook noodles by a minute or so and drain.
Combine noodles with the onions and place in a casserole dish. Top with a layer of both cheeses. Cool completely for make-ahead meal before covering and storing. Or, place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat broiler. Place casserole under the broiler to brown the top.
To reheat a make-ahead meal, bake at 375F covered for 30 minutes then uncover and bake until brown and bubbly.
When ready to serve casserole, dress cress with lemon, honey and remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO. Season with salt and pepper to taste.