Sweet-and-sour baby onions

Among the many specialties that make the Italian cuisine so rich and varied includes one that we present today from Emilia-Romagna, a region that never ceases to amaze in its wealth of gastronomic delights, superlative from every point of view. We are talking about the famous ‘borettane’ onions, originally from the province of Reggio Emilia, which are perfect with a good roast dinner, but can also be served as a starter. These baby onions go particularly well with beef but also marry well with a fish course. Following our recipe, step-by-step, we will take you through the secrets of making this specialty with its unmistakable taste.


  • baby onions 1000 grams baby onions
  • white wine vinegar 40 millilitres
  • balsamic vinegar 40 millilitres
  • sugar 10 grams
  • salt
  • bay leaves
  • oil
  • pepper Whole grains
10 minutes Total time
90 minutes Active time
Serves 5 persons
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Peel the onions well. Fry them in a pan with a little oil and a bay leaf and peppercorns. Add the sugar and caramelize. Add the white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar together and cover the pan with a lid to avoid dangerous splashing. Then add a glass of water, bring to a simmer and add salt. Add two bay leaves and continue cooking for 1-2h.

Do you want to try an unusual version - and one with a rather richer taste - of these sweet-and-sour onions? Use butter instead of oil whilst frying.
‘Borettane’ onions originate in Emilia-Romagna, specifically in the town of Boretto, near Reggio Emilia.

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