Kasha Varnishkes

June 18, 2010 12:55 pm
Posted in: Pasta & Grains

Healthy Kasha Varnishkes

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make Bow Ties & Kasha for us when she would visit from The Bronx.  I always loved it, and now it’s become “comfort food” for me.  It’s healthy and delicious, and just “feels like home.”

Kasha specifically refers to Buckwheat Groats in traditional Jewish cooking (though in Russia it is a generic word for cereal).  The Kasha was also used as a filling for knishes, a type of filled dumpling.  Buckwheat was originally cultivated in Asia, and remains popular there, particularly for Soba Noodles.  Today, Russia and China lead the world’s production of buckwheat.

Varnishkes is connected to the word vareniki, which originally meant a rectangular noodle.  The bow-tie pasta, or varnishkes, is made by taking a rectangular noodle and pinching it into a bow-tie shape.

This dish is traditionally made with chicken (or beef) broth and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), but we prefer to use vegetable stock and olive oil.  Every cookbook and family seems to have a slightly different variation of this recipe, but no matter what, it always has the bow ties and kasha.

Kasha Varnishkes
Author: 
Recipe Type: Pasta
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound 100% Whole Wheat “Bow-Tie” (Farfalle) Pasta
  • 1 cup uncooked Buckwheat Groats (Kasha)
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock (We use Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 Egg (or ¼ cup Egg Whites)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. While that’s cooking, sauté the onion with 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet. Set aside once the onion turns clear.
  2. In a large pan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add the kasha and egg to the pan, stirring quickly to coat the kasha in the egg. Continue to stir until the egg is “set,” and each buckwheat grain is separate and dry. Add the vegetable stock to the groats, and simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed (about 7 to 12 minutes).
  3. Mix the pasta, onions, and cooked groats together in the large pan. Use more or less pasta, according to the pasta/kasha ratio you prefer. Stir while heating, and add salt & pepper to taste.

Kasha Varnishkes on Foodista

 

5 Comments on "Kasha Varnishkes"
  1. Comment left on:
    January 5, 2012 at 6:41 am
    Bonnie says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I was glad to find a healthier version.

    I used to always order Kasha (with Gravy :-) when we would go out to this Russian restaurant we liked in Jackson NJ.

    I would like to make this tomorrow, in the past I have served this with baked chicken, what do you like to serve this with? Thanks!

    • Comment left on:
      January 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm
      Andrew says:

      Hi Bonnie! We often will have this as our main course, actually, and may just add a hearty vegetable on the side, like roasted brussels sprouts.

      One note, since this is a recipe I posted awhile back — We don’t use “Better Than Boullion” any more…It’s too highly processed and salty.

      Instead, we make stock from our scraps, like this:
      http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/2011/03/guest-post-scrappy-veggie-stock.html

      Best,
      Andrew

  2. .
    March 20, 2012 at 8:54 am

    [...] the jumbo-pack of Friendship farmer cheese she’d carried on the plane… and then Kasha Varnishkes… and Seven-Layer-Matzo-Cake… and Mandelbrodt (without nuts, please, Grandma!)… [...]

  3. Comment left on:
    May 23, 2012 at 11:27 am
    Audrey says:

    Just because I am a stickler for detail. “Kasha” does not mean cereal, it’s means porridge. Vareniki is not a rectangular noodle, it is a large Ukrainian ravioli-type dish, looks nothing like pasta shapes.

    • Comment left on:
      May 23, 2012 at 11:32 am
      Andrew says:

      Thanks for the correction, Audrey. (I’m now furious with myself for not linking to my sources… I don’t remember where I originally dug up this [incorrect] info! Argh!)

      Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that Kasha Varnishkes is good for you and tasty too! ;)

Leave A Comment
Name (required)
Website Url (completely optional)
XHTML: feel free to use any of these tags.
Rate Recipe:  

Seeing unhealthful or otherwise icky ads? Please let me know.
© 2010-2014 Andrew Wilder / Eating Rules — All Rights Reserved.