* 1 large eggplant (about 1-1¼ pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
* Coarse kosher salt
* About ½ cup olive oil
* 1½ pounds onions, coarsely chopped (6 cups)
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1-2 tbsp fresh thyme or marjoram, according to taste
* 2 cups mushrooms (about ½ pound), wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced
* 1 tbsp chopped garlic
* large egg
* 1 cup kasha, preferable coarse grind
* 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade, or good-quality low-sodium canned
* 4 ounces broad (wide) egg noodles (broken in half, if desired).
* Olive oil Schmaltz, margarine, or if vegetable broth is used, unsalted butter, if needed
* ¼ cup finely minced scallions, or 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
* 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle evenly with 2 tsp salt. Weight the eggplant down, and let drain for about 1 hour, stirring the pieces after 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and press it very dry with paper towels.
2. While the eggplant is draining, heat 3 tbsp oil in a 1--to- 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and salt and pepper them lightly. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring so they are thoroughly coated with oil. Cover, turn the heat down to the lowest simmer, and cook slowly until the onions are meltingly tender, 35-40 minutes. Stir from time to time to make sure the onions don't burn. When they are very soft, remove the lid, raise the heat to high, and brown them to a rich caramel gold. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon to redistribute the syrupy juices. If necessary, turn the heat down a bit to prevent the onions from sticking and burning. When the onions are thick and jamlike, stir in the thyme or marjoram. Adjust the seasoning and transfer the mixture to a very large bowl.
3. Lightly rinse out the skillet and dry it, add 2 tbsp fresh oil, and turn the heat to high. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they release some juice, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the garlic, and continue saut