Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha Varnishkes

Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

From Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Melting Pot, reprinted with the author’s permission

14 grams/ 0.5 ounce — dried porcini mushrooms, well rinsed

160 grams/ 5.6 ounces/ 1 cup — coarsely-ground kasha

1 large egg (57 grams/ 2 ounces, weighed in the shell)

71 grams/ 2.5 ounces/ 1/4 cup — goose fat OR 56 grams/ 2 ounces/ 4 tablespoons — unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped (255 grams/ 9 ounces)

1 teaspoon sugar (4 grams)

454 grams/ 1 pound/ 5 cups — fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic (3 grams)

6.7 grams/ 1 teaspoon — salt, or to taste

3 grams/ 1-1/2 teaspoons — freshly-ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

390 grams/ 13.75 ounces/ 1-3/4 cups — low-salt chicken broth, preferably College Inn

128 grams/ 4.5 ounces/ 2 cups — bowtie noodles (farfalle)

14 grams/ 0.5 ounce/ 1 tablespoon — goose fat or unsalted butter

Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in about ½ cup of warm water for 10 minutes until softened.  (The soaking water may later be added to make up part of the chicken broth).  When soft, drain, cut them into small pieces and set aside.

With a fork, stir together the kasha and the egg.  Set it aside to dry for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a fork.

In an 11-inch or larger skillet (at least 11 inches, preferably broiler-proof), with a tight-fitting lid, melt the ¼ cup of goose fat or butter.  Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar, and fry, stirring often, until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes.  Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms give up their liquid.  Then continue cooking uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Add the kasha mixture, salt, pepper and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.  Stir in the broth and porcini mushrooms, cover tightly, and simmer 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the bowties according to the package directions.  Drain, and stir in the 1 tablespoon of goose fat or butter.  (The recipe may be prepared up to this point 6 hours in advance of serving.)

If the skillet is not broiler-proof, turn the kasha mixture into a broiler pan or baking pan.  Add salt to taste.  Broil several inches from the heat, stirring occasionally for even browning and to prevent scorching, 7 to 10 minutes.  Mix in the bowties and broil for about 3 minutes more, just to crisp the top edges of the bowties slightly.  Serve hot.

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