6 large red onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
knob of butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
pinch of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons Marsala
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 strips streaky bacon
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Slice the top off each onion and trim the root end to sit flat. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the centres, (retain these for the filling), leaving 2 layers of onion to form the shell. Push a thin bamboo skewer crosswise through each onion to hold the layers together.
Cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain upside down on kitchen towels.
Stuffing: Chop the reserved onion finely. Heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan and cook the onion, garlic, thyme, chilli flakes and the orange zest until the onion is tender. Pour in the Marsala and let it bubble up. Add the pine nuts and cream and simmer to reduce a little. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Season.
Fill the onions with the stuffing and wrap a strip of bacon around each one, securing with a toothpick. Place in a buttered baking dish and pour in a ¼ cup of water.
Bake for 30 minutes until tender and golden. Drape the dish with a piece of tin foil if the tops get too brown.
Serve hot as an entrée with a salad, a luncheon dish or as an accompaniment to a main course.