Plate Expectations: Kasha varnishkes
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Plate Expectations: Kasha varnishkes

Our in-house chef Denise Philips cooks up her latest culinary treat!

Kasha varnishkes is kasha buckwheat cooked with pasta bows. It originates from the Jews of eastern Europe, notably Russia and the Ukraine. 

It is still very popular in America, but many English Jews have never heard of it.

This is a very traditional recipe that is frequently served with pot roast on a Friday night and a similar version to the one my aunt in Brooklyn makes each week.

Ingredients

  • 250ml kasha/ buckwheat, coarse grind
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 600ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • 200g brown cap mushrooms- sliced
  • 225g pasta bows

Garnish: Sprigs of parsley and chopped walnuts

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F /Gas mark 4.
  2. In a heavy based frying pan, toast the kasha for 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to turn golden and give off an aroma.
  3. Immediately stir in the egg, salt and stock and mix well. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to simmer and cook the kasha until it absorbs all the stock, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and sauté the onions andmushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  ach side.
  6. Add the pasta to the cooked kasha mixture. Transfer the contents to a greased ovenproof dish.
  7. Check and adjust seasoning. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of oil over the top.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes until the top is slightly brown and crunchy.

To serve the stylish way: Serve spoonfuls of kasha varnishkes and garnish with  sprigs of parsley and walnuts.

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