Kasha Varnishkes

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


  1. Saute the onions in 2 Tbsp. of the fat until golden and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Beat the egg and then mix in the kasha until all grains are coated (some clumping is inevitable)
  4. Heat the chicken stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan
  5. Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
  6. 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.
  7. Add the onions and mushrooms to the kasha and turn the heat to low
  8. 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.
  9. Meanwhile cook the pasta al dente in the large pot.
  10. Drain the pasta and combine with the kasha and vegetables
  11. Add more fat if desired and adjust seasoning
  12. Sprinkle parsley and serve

Photo by Derbeth via Wikimedia Commons used with CC Attribution license