Kasha Varnishkes

By Emma Laperruque
March 15, 2018
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Author Notes: This is Jewish comfort food at its finest—carbs on carbs!—with toasty buckwheat and bow-tie noodles. Onions, mushrooms, and herbs provide just enough veg and greenery to call this a one-dish dinner. Traditionally, the fat here is schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat. I used olive oil for its accessibility, but feel free to swap back, or even replace with butter. This recipe is an exercise in multitasking, but each one is easy-peasy. Reading through the steps a couple times before starting helps. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: Featured In: My Grandma's Second Husband's Favorite PastaThe Editors

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 30 min

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/4 cups kasha (roasted buckwheat groats)
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound bow-tie noodles (farfalle)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or Microplaned
  • 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Set a large pot of water over high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste, until it's very salty. Bring to a boil. Add the kasha and adjust the heat to establish a steady boil. (The method here is exactly like pasta.) Cook until the kasha is just tender—we don't want it mushy—10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve.
  3. Meanwhile, set a very large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. When it’s shimmery, add the onions. Season generously with salt, to taste, and 1 pinch black pepper. Sauté—stirring and lowering the heat as needed—until caramelized, about 40 minutes.
  4. While that's going, roast the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to a rimmed sheet pan. Dress with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, to taste, and 1 pinch pepper. Toss. Roast for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned.
  5. Set a large pot of water over high heat (save a dish and reuse that kasha pot!). Add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste, until it's very salty. Bring to a boil. When the onions and mushrooms are almost done, add the pasta to the water. Cook until just al dente, about 8 minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the skillet with the onions—this way you reserve that pasta water.
  6. Add the mushrooms, kasha, and garlic to the skillet. Toss. Add a big splash of pasta water, to loosen everyone up, plus a generous pour of olive oil—and don't be shy with either. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Add most of the herbs and toss. Sprinkle the remaining ones on top.

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