Friday, July 24, 2020

Kasha Varnishkes Like Bubbie Made

Have you ever heard of Kasha Varnishkes? No one made Kasha Varnishkes like my "Bubbie" (grandmother) who emigrated from Russia alone to the USA in the early 1900's. At the age of 16, she brought little with her except her courage and her recipes.


kasha varnishkes @ www.realfoodblogger.com


Her hearty and savory recipe is a mix of pasta, sauteed onions, and buckwheat groats (kasha). 


Traditionally, this kasha varnishkes recipe is made with "bowties"also known as farfalle (pasta in the shape of bowties).

I made this recipe with "pencil point" shaped pasta or "penne" because I was unable to find gluten free "bowties" in my market.

Have you ever tasted Kasha? It can be eaten for breakfast as a cereal or as a starchy side dish with a meal much in the same way you would eat rice or quinoa.




Similar to quinoa, kasha is considered a pseudo grain which is actually a seed. This gluten free seed/grain, which is mostly grown in Russia and China, is also called buckwheat or groats (there is no wheat in buckwheat). "Varnishkes" is a Yiddish/Ukranian  type word referring to the pasta.




Kasha has a nutty flavor and is hearty, healthy, and filling. 
Paired with pasta, it is a comfort food that takes eating ordinary kasha eating to a whole new level!!This recipe using buckwheat, sauteed onions, vegetable broth, and pasta is one delicious meal.


Old fashioned Kasha Varniskes

Where can you buy kasha?
Just about every supermarket carries kasha. It can usually be found in the Kosher foods section by a brand called Wolff's. I also noticed that Amazon sells bags of kasha from other brands.

In 1925, Wolff's, a company that sold kasha, located in Paterson, New Jersey ran a contest where they asked people to send in their Kasha (buckwheat) recipes. They said that they received thousands of recipes and picked the very best recipes to appear in a Yiddish cookbook that they published using the recipes! Of course Kasha Varnishkes was included in the cookbook.

Ingredients: 
12 ounces of uncooked gluten free pasta
10 cups of water.olive oil spray
2 cups of chopped onion
1 cup of slice white mushrooms
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 cup of kasha (buckwheat groats)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  

In a 3 quart soup pot, add water and salt and bring to a boil. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook until pasta is soft. Drain, rinse, and set aside. While pasta is cooking;
Spray a skillet with olive oil spray. Add onions and mushrooms and saute until onions become translucent, stirring to prevent burning. Remove and transfer to a small bowl. Add kasha to the empty skillet and pan toast for 4 minutes, shaking as needed to prevent burning. Reduce heat to a simmer, add vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and cover with a lid and cook until all liquid is absorbed for about 15 minutes. When the kasha is fluffy, add the onions and mushrooms. Mix well and toss with the cooked pasta.

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19 comments:

  1. A new dish for me! I do love buckwheat, and I am sure I would enjoy this yummy treat too. Have a great weekend, Judee!

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    1. If you decide to try it, I recommend finding gluten free bow-tie pasta and it will look even prettier. If you love buckwheat, you will probably really enjoy this with the pasta, onions, and mushrooms.

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  2. That's definitely the traditional kasha recipe (but with normal pasta and also it's usually dipped in egg or egg white). I make it from time to time also, though I don't use any pasta at all. I like the intensity of the kasha flavor.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Being gluten-free and vegan , I did have to adapt the recipe. But my grandmother and mother both used the egg and the bow-tie pasta.

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  3. I've never heard of this dish but we do have Kasha in these parts. I like the story about your grandmother. A tresaured family recipe.

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    1. Thank you Tina,
      Yes, my grandmother came from Russia alone at age 16 and lived in the US until 107 years

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  4. How lucky you are to have such rich heritage in your family!

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    1. Thank you Marie,
      Yes, my grandmother made many wonderful foods. She liked to cook and frequently cooked and divided the food for her 5 children's families.

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  5. This dish is completely new to me. It has a beautiful appearance, and the flavors sound like something we would love in my family.

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    1. Yes, the dish is very Eastern European! I think it looks ever better when made with bow-ties..

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  6. I was introduced to kasha several years ago but forgot about them recently. Thanks for the reminder! I look forward to trying this recipe!

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    1. Yes, it is not a grain that I make very often, despite that it is gluten free. It sort of has a heavy taste .

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  7. I love buckwheat and use the groats in salad or like rice but adding to pasta is new.Definitely a good recipe to try.

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    1. Try to get the bow-tie pasta if you can eat it. It tastes really good

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  8. I just checked, and yes we have some buckwheat groats, which I will now be happy to use. Your dish sounds so good.

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    1. I hope that you do get to try this recipe. If you are not vegan, you can follow the directions on the box and coat the kasha with egg first.

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  9. This is something I haven't heard of previously! I wonder if it is available here.

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  10. Thank you to introduce this delicious food....
    have a great day

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