Since my family is from both Italy and France, it seems like the perfect pairing to combine two of my favorite dishes: pasta and French onion soup! The little hollows in the cavatappi allow the caramelized onions and bone marrow to fill the center of each piece of pasta so they burst with beefy goodness with every bite.
Melt the butter in the olive oil in a large, shallow broiler-safe pot over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, garlic and 2 large pinches salt. Cover and cook, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to prevent scorching, until the onions are golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes total.
Meanwhile, place the beef marrow bones on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss lightly with the cooking oil. Roast the bones until the edges are browned and the marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone, about 12 minutes.
Use tongs to transfer the marrow bones to the pot with the caramelized onions. Tie together the bay leaf and thyme with kitchen twine. Add the herb bundle to the pot and season with pepper. Add the brandy and sherry and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits and cook off the raw alcohol flavor, about 2 minutes. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.
Once the mixture is boiling, season with freshly cracked black pepper. Stir in the dried pasta and cook, adding more stock as needed, until the stock reduces, the marrow releases into the sauce and the pasta is al dente and glazed in the sauce, 9 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler to high.
Remove and discard the herb bundle and marrow bones from the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the provolone and Swiss cheese (see Cook’s Note). Broil until bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with the sliced chives and enjoy!
Alternatively, transfer the cooked pasta to ramekins and top with the provolone and Swiss cheese. Broil on high until bubbly or use a kitchen torch to melt.
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