Kasha Varnitchkes is a classic Jewish dish of buckwheat groats combined with pasta. I’m not sure that bow tie pasta (farfalle) has always been the traditional choice, but it’s the contemporary favorite. If you’re a kasha fan, you’ll enjoy this simple dish; it doesn’t set of any flavor fireworks, but it’s easy and comforting, like many an Eastern European specialty. Photos by Evan Atlas.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, very finely chopped
- 1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
- 1½ cups vegetable broth, or 1½ cups water with
- 2 natural salt-free bouillon cubes
- 6 to 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 8 ounces farfalle (bowtie pasta)
- Minced fresh dill and/or parsley, as desired, plus more for topping
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden.
- Add the kasha and stir in to coat with the oil in the pan. continue to sauté, stirring often, until the kasha is nicely toasted and the onions lightly browned here and there, about 7 minutes.
- Pour in the broth or water with bouillon cubes and bring to a slow boil.
- Stir in the mushrooms, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir gently only once during this time, as you don’t want the kasha to get mushy.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- Add the cooked pasta to the cooked kasha in the pan if it's roomy enough. Otherwise combine the kasha mixture and pasta in a serving container. Toss together gently with fresh parsley and/or dill as desired, and season with salt and pepper. Serve at once.
- Here are more hearty pasta dishes.