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Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha Varnishkes

A delicious and nutritious “peasant food,” kasha varnishkes comes to us from Eastern Europe and is a hearty dish that is popular in Ashkenazi Jewish kitchens. I loved my grandmother’s version, but she called it “Seashells and Kashi” (for some reason, not kasha) and instead of the more traditional bowtie-shaped pasta, she used seashells. I am not sure what drove that renegade move. Traditionally made with schmaltz, a.k.a. kosher lard (“kosher” because it’s made with chicken or goose fat instead of pig fat), I removed the animals and all oil from this recipe so it tastes quite a bit lighter but I think the flavor notes and toothsome earthiness remains. I also thought mushrooms and dill would be a good complement to the dish. By the way, buckwheat groats, also known as kasha, are a pseudocereal along with quinoa (posers!) and is gluten-free. You will need the VeganEgg for this (though I have seen recipes for kasha varnishkes made without egg) to give it that traditional taste.


Kasha Varnishkes

2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetarian broth, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby bello mushrooms, sliced
(or mushrooms of your choice)
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari
1 cup buckwheat groats, a.k.a., kasha, medium or coarse grain
1 VeganEgg, prepared as per instructions
8 oz. seashell pasta
(or preferred pasta), cooked
cup fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or pan with a lid, heat 1/3 cup vegetable broth over medium-high heat for a minute, then add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions become tender, about six minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and tamari and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the buckwheat groats and prepared VeganEgg until the groats are all coated. Add to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the groats separate and dry out a bit, about two minutes. Add the broth and cook until it’s at a low boil, then cover and lower the heat. Cook for 12 – 14 minutes or until the groats are tender. Add the cooked pasta, season with dill, salt and pepper. Serve with extra dill on top.

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