Kasha Varnishkes

The distinctive flavor of kasha makes a soul-satisfying meal. This is Ben Katchor’s adaptation of Joan Nathan’s recipe.

YIELD 6 to 8 servings


• 2 large onions, sliced in rounds

• Mushrooms sliced

• 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 large egg slightly beaten

• 1 cup coarse kasha

• 2 cups water or bouillon

• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

• 3/4 pound large or small bow tie-shaped noodles

1. Sauté the onions and sliced mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frying pan with a cover until golden. Remove to a plate.

2. Beat the egg in a small mixing bowl and stir in the kasha. Mix, making sure all the grains are coated. Put the kasha in the same frying pan, set over a high heat. Flatten, stir, and break up the egg-coated kasha with a fork or wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes or until the egg has dried on the kasha and the kernels brown and mostly separate.

3. Add the water or bouillon, salt, and pepper to the frying pan and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, and cook over low heat, steaming the kasha for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, stir, and quickly check to see if the kernels are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. If not, cover and continue steaming for 3 to 5 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the bow-tie noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain.

5. When the kasha is ready, combine with the noodles, sautéed onions and mushroom. Adjust the salt and pepper.