cooking · Dinner

Barley In A Pasta Sauce? Come On In!

I came up with this recipe the other night but didn’t get any photos. It is very filling due to the barley!

Barley Vegetable Pasta Sauce


  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 8-10 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced (package size varies by store)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 3 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (4 cloves)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb pasta shape of choice
  • Parmesan cheese(the can variety works better in this recipe than freshly grated)


Depending on brand of barley used, follow directions on package if different from mine – some stores sell a quicker cooking version. For mine I bought the water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, added in the barley (pick over it for any field debris and rinse well), brought back to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover loosely and let cook for 1 hour. Turn off the stove, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet heat the oil over medium-high, add in the onion, carrots and mushrooms and cook till starting to get golden. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute longer, then add the flour, stirring often for a couple of minutes. Stir in the wine, letting it cook off till very thick. Slowly add in the broth, stirring till smooth, then add the cooked barley. Bring to a boil, lower to medium-low and let cook for 15 minutes and thickened.

Meanwhile cook your pasta as directed and do a quick drain. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Liberally sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, stirring it in. Serve with more cheese.

Serves 6 large bowls.


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