Kasha Varnishkes is a Jewish specialty made with kasha, bowtie pasta and caramelized onions.
When I picked a box of kasha off the shelf for the very first time I had no idea that it would lead me here. I was only looking to expand my horizons and try something new.
The kasha evoked a strong food memory from my Mom, who described this dish to a tee even though it is 30 years or more since she had it. The only thing she couldn’t remember was the name. A quick search solved that problem! What I thought was going to be an obscure dish turned out to be quite popular with recipes and nostalgic food memories plastered all over the Internet.
Kasha is buckwheat groats, a grain that has nothing at all to do with wheat! “Varnishkes” is Yiddish for bowtie noodles. Usually the onions are caramelized in chicken fat, and lots of it; seeing as I didn’t have chicken fat on hand I went with olive oil. Where mine differs from the one my Mom remembers is that I use sour cream and hers were buttery. Fat is fat. The choice is yours.
One thing was clear from all of my research: this is serious Jewish comfort food.