There's none of the traditional sweet or spice in this kugel, but the sauteed mushrooms and tender leeks meld with the noodles into a delicate side dish that complements the big flavors of a main dish such as Spiced, Sear-Roasted and Stuffed Chicken Breasts (see related recipe). The consistency of this kugel is a bit looser than usual, because it has no binder of egg or dairy products.
Make Ahead: The kugel can be assembled up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated. It should sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before it is baked.
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish
- 10 ounces large white mushrooms, cut into thin slices
- 8 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake and oyster, stemmed and cut into thin slices
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the noodles' cooking water
- 1 pound (3 medium) leeks, trimmed, cut in 1/4-inch dice and soaked in cold water, then patted dry
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound wide egg noodles
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers (about 2 minutes). Add the mushrooms; sprinkle with the thyme and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, until the mushrooms brown and start to soften. Transfer to a large plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet; when it is hot, add the leeks and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened and translucent. Add the broth and cook, scraping to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles. Stir a few teaspoons of salt into the boiling water. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until it becomes just barely tender (remember, it's going to bake more in the oven), about 10 minutes. Drain well under cold running water until the pasta cools slightly, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Use a little oil to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Add the mushrooms, leeks, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the baking dish, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
One hour before serving, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Let the kugel sit at room temperature while the oven heats (at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour).
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes to thoroughly heat through, then uncover and bake for about 15 minutes, until the top browns and becomes crisp. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
From cookbook author Tony Rosenfeld.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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