2 cups bow tie pasta
1/2 ounce dry porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup schmaltz or butter, divided
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup kasha, preferably coarse
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup chicken stock
2 bunches baby leeks, cut into 1/2-inch lengths (or 1 regular leek, diced)
1/2 pound veal or beef bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, cooked until crisp
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl soak the porcini mushrooms in 3/4 cup of warm water for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, retaining the soaking water, then mince and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt 1/4 cup of the schmaltz. Add the onions and salt, then sauté until well browned. Add mushrooms and garlic, then cook for 1 minute. Add the kasha, pepper and thyme, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining schmaltz. Add the leeks, reserved mushroom water, and bacon, if using, then sauté until the leeks are tender.
In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with the kasha mixture. Spoon the leek and bacon mixture over it, then garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from Mark Spangenthal of Kutcher’s Tribeca restaurant.
Per serving: 500 calories, 250 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories), 28 g fat (13 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 80 mg cholesterol, 47 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 4 g fiber, 1,890 mg sodium.