Kasha varnishkes (bow-tie pasta with kasha) is traditional comfort food for Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants.
- 1 pound of bow-tie pasta (varnishkes)
- 1 cup kasha
- 1 large onion diced
- 12 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp. of schmaltz (chicken fat) or butter
- 2 Tbsp. of chopped flat parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Saute the onions in 2 Tbsp. of the fat until golden and set aside.
- Pan roast the mushrooms with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of fat a little at a time so they become caramelized and brown and set aside with the onion. Overcrowded mushrooms will steam not roast.
- Beat the egg and then mix in the kasha until all grains are coated (some clumping is inevitable)
- Heat the chicken stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan
- Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
- Put the kasha in the same saute pan, set over a high heat. Flatten, stir, and break up the egg-coated kasha with a fork or wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes or until the egg has dried on the kasha and the kernels brown and mostly separate.
- Add the onions and mushrooms to the kasha and turn the heat to low
- Immediately pour the hot stock over the kasha egg mixture, turn down from heat, and cover at a low simmer for about 10 minutes until the kasha absorbs the stock and becomes tender.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta al dente in the large pot.
- Drain the pasta and combine with the kasha and vegetables
- Add more fat if desired and adjust seasoning
- Sprinkle parsley and serve
Photo by Derbeth via Wikimedia Commons used with CC Attribution license
A pasta dish from Sicily that celebrates fresh fish and mint. Serves 4
- 1 pound swordfish steak, about 1 inch thick
- ¾ pound penne
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup plus ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast them in a 350° oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the ½ tablespoon oil over moderate heat.
- Sprinkle the swordfish with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the fish to the pan and cook 4 minutes.
- Turn and cook until the fish is just done, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove.
- When the fish is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining ¼ cup oil to the pan and heat over moderately low heat.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in ¼ cup of the mint and remove the pan from the heat.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes.
- Drain and toss with the swordfish, the garlic-and-mint oil, the pine nuts, the remaining ¼ cup mint, and ½ teaspoon salt.
Photo by Max Straeten via morgueFile used with license
Makes about 4 ½ cups or enough for 8-10 servings of pasta
- 2 cans (28oz) of crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup plus 2 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped carrots
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 6 fresh bay leaves (or 3 dried)
- Crushed red pepper (to taste)
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the fine disc or crush them as fine as possible in a bowl with a wire whisk
- Heat olive oil and saute onion until wilted
- Add carrots and celery and cook until golden (10 mins or so)
- Add tomatoes, herbs and a pinch of salt and simmer until thickened (45 mins or so)
- Remove bay leaves and taste for salt
Recipe adapted from Lidia Bastianich
- ¾ pound whole wheat pennette or penne
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in tomato puree, drained
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the tomatoes until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sliced garlic and cook over moderately low heat until golden, about 2 minutes.
- Add the crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes.
- Season the tomato sauce with salt.
- Salt the boiling water. Add the pennette to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce in the skillet. Toss well and spoon into bowls or a serving dish.
- Sprinkle the pennette with parsley and serve.
Adapted from Mark Strausman via Food & Wine. Photo by Kelly Garbato via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives license
- 8 oz udon noodles
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 2½ tbs freshly ground peanut butter
- 1 tbs sesame seed paste
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp hot chili oil
- 1⅓ cup vegetable stock
- 2 tbs thinly sliced scallions
- Chopped drained cucumbers optional
- Cook noodles al dente (about 5 min), drain with cold water
- Put noodles in bowl with sesame oil and refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour
- Mix everything else together, pour over noodles
Andrea McFarren’s recipe adapted from Szechuan Noodles at Oasis in Ithaca, NY. Photo by Stacy Spensley via Flickr used with CC Attribution license
- 1 cup couscous
- 1½ pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 2 leeks, sliced into ½-inch half-moons
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Coarse salt and ground pepper for seasoning
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Toss shrimp with salt and pepper. Saute, tossing, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove.
- Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan; stir in mustard seeds. Cook until seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add leeks, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in couscous, peas, and 2 cups boiling water; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Add shrimp; stir gently.
Adapted from Martha Stewart. Photo by Gnawme via Flickr used with CC Attribution, No Derivatives license