Kasha varnishkes are a classic Jewish dish from Russia and Eastern Europe made with bow-tie pasta and buckwheat groats. Buckwheat has a marvelous earthy flavor—and nine essential amino acids.
Fast Weekday Pastas
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup coarse kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 1/2 cups bow-tie pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of the water to a boil. Add the kasha and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir well, cover and set aside.
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the bow-tie pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the bow-ties to the saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, creminis and thyme and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, then add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water and the soy sauce and stir constantly until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until thickened, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Reheat the kasha, stirring in some of the reserved cooking water to loosen it. Stir the kasha into the bow-ties; spoon into bowls. Top with the mushroom gravy; serve.