Cipolline in Agrodolce (Onions in Sweet and Sour Sauce)

Sep 5, 2017 | 1 comment


Cipolline in Agrodolce (Onions in Sweet and Sour Sauce)


One of the many books I bought recently was Gastronomy of Italy from the wonderful Anna del Conte.

We did 4 recipes from the book today at the cookery group I run for my local U3A, including this one for Cipolline in Agrodolce or Onions in Sweet and Sour Sauce. Cipolline is pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nay and is a flat type of onion used in Italy for this dish.

This is my version of that dish

Cipolline in Agrodolce (Onions in Sweet and Sour Sauce)

700g onions, 59p/kg, 41p
50g butter, £1.23/250g, 24p
1 tblsp tomato purée, 70p/200g, 5p
1 tblsp sugar
2 tblsps wine vinegar, 75p/350ml, 6p
salt and pepper

Peel the onions, but do not remove the roots, or the onions will fall apart while cooking. Place in a single layer in a pan with a lid. Add the butter, tomato purée and 300ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently, with the lid on, for about half an hour.

Add the sugar, vinegar and seasoning. Mix well and continue simmering, with the lid on, for a further half an hour until the onions are cooked through and very soft.

Now remove the lid and simmer faster, until the sauce is reduced down to a thick coating sauce.

Priced at Asda using mySupermarket September 2017

Total nutrition – 716 calories, 79g carbs, 42g fat, 8g protein
Total cost 76p. If serving 4, 19p per portion

Serves 4, per portion – 179 calories, 20g carbs, 10g fat, 2g protein



The Verdict

Anna del Conte says to serve the onions at room temperature. I think that that would work better at the hot temperatures of Puglia, where this recipe comes from. Personally, I had one warm with dinner this evening and loved it.

This makes a perfect side dish. It tastes sweet without actually much sugar in it. The sauce is wonderful. It would work fabulously as part of a vegetarian trio, with, for instance, beans with sesame and hazelnuts, and garlic mushrooms.


This would work well with any firm vegetable. So I would try carrots and swede, turnip and potatoes. You could add herbs too if you like. I think rosemary would be nice.

Definitely something I will be doing again.

Faggots & Gravy


1 Comment

  1. Elaine

    Hi, Lesley! I’ve just found your blog recently, and am really enjoying it. This recipe looks great, and just right for the autumn months. Looking forward to trying it…

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