I can still hear my family exclaiming with joy when it was announced that we were having farfel. At long last I have rediscovered this delightful side dish that goes well with any roasted meat and perhaps even fish.


1 small onion or 1/2 medium-large onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 (or so) mushrooms (white or crimini) cleaned and chopped 

1 C farfel (egg barley noodles)*

2 C chicken stock

Schmaltz (chicken fat) or Canola (or other vegetable oil)

salt and pepper to taste

*Available on Amazon


Heat some schmaltz or oil in a pan and saute the diced onions. Add the garlic and cook until just translucent. Add chopped the mushrooms and sauté until browned. Add the egg barley and toast until light brown. Add the chicken stock and salt and pepper. Cover and cook (as if it were rice pilaf) until liquid is absorbed 20 minutes or so. The pasta should be cooked through but not soft.

This can be made ahead, cooled and reheated gently adding more broth if it seems a bit dry.

Some people toast the noodles first in a 300 degree oven. Some people boil it and drain it before combining with the other ingredients and then baking it. I think the method I have given is more like what we had growing up. 

Ragu Bolognese

During my two extended stays in Bologna, I was fortunate to learn from several of my local friends how to make the "perfect" traditional ragu Bolognese, a sauce that serves as the basis for traditional tagliatelle and lasagna Bolognese. Unlike the American concept of a meat sauce which is basically a tomato sauce with meat, this is just the reverse-a meat sauce with some tomato. Although some people do not use milk to make this, I like the mellow and soft mouth feel it adds to the flavors. I owe a great debt of gratitude to the wonderful friends who generously shared their guarded secret recipes, from which I adapted this one.

Read More