Kasha Varniskes

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This is one of those dishes that is way more delicious than merely the sum of it’s ingredients. It’s also a lot prettier than a brown and white dish has the right to be. Purists will tell you that chicken broth or even chicken fat is necessary to make this, but it’s really not. The secrets are a generous quantity of good, fruity olive oil and caramelized onions. We had this with this tomato soup. It’s adapted from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook.I’m sending these Kasha Varniskes over to Presto Pasta Nights, created  by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. and hosted this week by Helen of Fuss Free Flavors. Check Helen’s site on Friday for the roundup!

Kasha Varniskes3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion
4 ounces bow-tie pasta
1/3 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Slice onion into the thinnest rings possible. Cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook until onions are golden and very tender, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep onions on the heat, continuing to stir now and then.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (don’t turn on the heat under your pot until onions have cooked as above – you can’t cook the onions too much for this dish.) Cook the pasta and kasha together according to pasta instructions. Drain in a wire mesh strainer. Add to the onions. Stir in poppy seeds and additional 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Serves 4.

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4 Responses

  1. wow, looks so tempting and lovely.

  2. Dropped in from PPN to say ‘ Hello’ :) I am a Pasta Fan too .. and your dish looks awsm !

  3. I like the sound of that, Kasha Varniskes. I’ve only ever tried buckwheat groats in my granola, so will have to give this dish a try, especially with those caramelized onions. I had to laugh about “can’t cook the onions too much.” I once made French Onion Soup, carefully following the directions, which said to cook at a very low heat, until a rich brown caramel color. They finally got to that point, 8 hours later. Really good though.

  4. Claudia, that reminds me of the first time I made roux for gumbo. It took forever! I was afraid if I didn’t cook it on super-low it would explode or something. I finally learned that it’s okay to turn the heat up if you keep an eye on it.

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