Kasha varnishkes was one of the first dishes I started cooking regularly. I call it the cacio e pepe of Ashkenazi cuisine. It’s a pasta dish with very simple ingredients. Traditionally, you just need onions, bowtie pasta, and some kasha––buckwheat groats. That’s it.
These days, Jewish cooks are zhuzhing it up a bit adding things like mushrooms and lemon juice. Me, I add broccoli––mainly because my wife loves it. But I do feel like it’s a natural addition. Plus with the parsley sprinkled on top, the dish makes me think of a simple, garden pasta dish. I could imagine throwing in some chopped or shredded carrots as well, maybe zucchini.
But the point is to keep it simple. This is one of those cultural dishes you can make on a weekday when you feel like establishing some sort of culinary connection to your roots. It’s not some massive, time-consuming dish you only whip up during a holiday meal. Kasha varnishkes is meant to be a wildly simple dish you can whip out at a moment’s notice.
Kasha Varnishkes Recipe
For my kasha varnishkes recipe, you can watch the video above or head over to Fifth Season. You’ll get my recipe using broccoli, lemon juice, and ground coriander. It’s a wonderfully fresh dish. Just make sure you get some sizeable kasha to go with it.