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.
Review Body: This is not the correct way to cook kasha. Pour your measured kasha into a small bowl. Crack an egg into it and mix with a fork until completely incorporated. Now, put the eggy kasha into a saucepan and turn on the heat. Cook, stirring, until the kasha is dry and separates into individual grains again. Now you can add your salt and boiling water and cook as instructed above.