Farfel with Mushrooms and Onions

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Farfel is sometimes translated into English as "egg barley", I presume because it is made with egg pasta and depending on how you form it, it has the approximate shape of barley. It is otherwise completely unrelated to barley. In this dish I prefer to use toasted farfel, which has a nutty flavor.

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  • 8 ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce (2 to 21/2 cups, depending on the size) farfel or egg barley, toasted
  • 4 ounce (1 sticks or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, or a combinator of peanut oil and chicken schmaltz to equal same
  • 2 large (1 pound) yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounce (3/4 pound) mushrooms, button, portobello, romano, or a combination, sliced or chopped
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soup stock, chicken or vegetable (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water (4 quarts water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt) to a boil. Add the toasted farfel and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter or shmaltz mixture (based on if you want it meat or dairy). Add the onions and saute until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mushrooms have given off most of their water and the mushrooms and onions are soft, about 30 minutes.

Stir the farfel into the sauteed mushrooms and onions adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

If you are going to bake the farfel, stir in the egg and/or soup broth (if using). Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. You can store the farfel covered in the refrigerator at this point for up to 2 days. Before serving, preheat oven to 350. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top browns and the farfel is heated through.

Notes: You should be able to tell if your farfel is untoasted by the color: untoasted, it has the pale yellow color similar to other egg noodles; toasted it is somewhere between beige and golden brown. If yours is untoasted, you should toast it before you proceed with this recipe: preheat the oven to 300. Spread the farfel out on a cookie sheet and set in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pasta has turned a dark beige or golden brown. Periodically rake the pasta with a large spoon or spatula to ensure it toasts evenly. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before proceeding.