Today I'm featuring KASHA AND VARNISHKAS (BOWTIE PASTA). It's a Jewish favorite and perfect for the Jewish holiday or any time. When I was growing up, my Grandmother, who came from Lithuania, made all of these traditional Jewish dishes. She cooked the onions with pure chicken fat instead of olive oil. Kasha is actually buckwheat which is a gluten free grain even though it has the word wheat in its name. This grain improves heart health, reduces blood sugar, a great source of vegetarian protein, rich in dietary fiber and protects against cancer. Pretty powerful. I know we all have of these wonderful remembrances in our lives no matter what ethnic background you are from. I know mine are the strongest during the holidays. I would highly recommend whether you are Jewish or not to try using buckwheat in your diet. It's a winner.
KASHA AND VARNISHKAS (BOWTIE PASTA)
2 medium sized Sweet Onions, chopped 3 Portabella Mushrooms, skin peeled and gills removed, chopped in large chunks 12 Sundried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, cut in thin strips(julienne) 2 - 3 Tablespoons Oil from the Sundried Tomatoes 1 large Egg, beaten 1 cup Kasha 2 cups Vegetable Broth (or you can use Chicken Broth) Salt and Pepper, to taste 3/4 pound small Bowtie Pasta, cooked in boiling water until al dente 2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley
1) In a skillet, heat the Sundried Tomato Oil (red in color). Add the Onions, Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms and saute until the Onions are golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. 2) In a small bowl, mix the beaten Egg and the Kasha until every kernel is covered. Add the egg covered kasha to the skillet and cook, constantly pressing and mixing the grains and Egg with a fork or wooden spoon until the egg covered grains have separated, 2 - 3 minutes. 3) Add the Onions, Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes and the broth. Stir and cover and cook for 10 minutes. The Kasha cooks very fast. If the kernels aren't tender, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. 4) Add the Bowtie Pasta (Varnishkes) to the Kasha and season with Salt, Pepper and 2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley. You can always add more Sundried Tomato Olive Oil if it is too dry. It has so much flavor. Enjoy!!! L'Chayim!!!!
NOTE: You can also make the Varnishkas with gluten free pasta.