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farfalle with spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions

Farfalle Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions

Creamy Farfalle with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions.  The bow-tie pasta is perfectly matched with rich and buttery Parmesan sauce!  Serve this easy meatless Italian meal as-is, or with grilled chicken!  Satisfying and comforting dinner that a whole family will love!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bow tie pasta, farfalle
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 511kcal
Author Julia


Caramelized onions

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions , large, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Creamy pasta sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 oz mushrooms , sliced (I used button mushrooms)
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese , shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 8 oz farfalle pasta


How to caramelize onions:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with the spatula.
  • The onions should start to brown, but without burning.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add a pinch of salt over onions.
  • Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
  • In total, you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from heat and sprinkle the onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  • Using a spatula, stir the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with a pinch of balsamic vinegar you just added. Remove caramelized onions to a plate.

How to cook mushrooms and spinach:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet on medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  • Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms are soft.
  • Add fresh spinach to the skillet and stir on low heat just until spinach starts to wilt.

How to make creamy pasta sauce:

  • Add half-and-half to the mushroom and spinach mixture and bring to a quick boil. Immediately reduce to simmer.
  • Add ⅔ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt. Keep stirring while the sauce simmers until the cheese melts.
  • Add caramelized onions back to the skillet with the pasta sauce.

Cook pasta:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  • Add cooked and drained farfalle pasta to the creamy sauce. Stir on low heat for a couple of minutes to reheat.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of half-and-half to thin it out. If it is too thin, add a small amount of shredded Parmesan cheese, and stir it in, while the sauce simmers.
  • Serve with more shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.


Substitute for half-and-half:  Use ½ cup of heavy cream + ½ cup of milk instead of 1 cup of half-and-half.


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4399IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 3mg